Japan only recently adopted guidelines for accepting blood donations from those who have received COVID-19 vaccines. The guidelines are intended to give donors time to get over any side effects from the vaccine. Without providing that context, a social media post misleadingly claims Japan is “refusing” blood donations from vaccinated people.
A viral video features a doctor making dubious claims about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments at a forum hosted by Idaho’s lieutenant governor. Dr. Ryan Cole claims mRNA vaccines cause cancer and autoimmune diseases, but the lead author of the paper on which Cole based that claim told us there is no evidence mRNA vaccines cause those ailments.
It’s possible that in the future, when COVID-19 vaccines are no longer in short supply, states or certain workplaces might require individuals to be vaccinated.
As legal and public health expert Joanne Rosen of Johns Hopkins University has explained, the legal precedent for states to make vaccinations compulsory goes back to a 1905 Supreme Court case involving the smallpox vaccine. The court sided with the state, finding that the vaccination requirement was a reasonable regulation to protect public health.
Headlines shared on social media distort the facts of a recent order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that mandates face masks be worn on public transportation. The order doesn’t require that individuals wear two masks. CDC guidance issued with the order does say that cloth masks should be made of at least two layers.
A viral video clip makes bogus claims about COVID-19 vaccines and falsely accuses the government of “pure racism” for “push[ing] this heavily on Blacks and browns.” Public health experts have recommended prioritizing those communities for the vaccine because they have suffered higher rates of infection and death.
Dubious websites and viral posts falsely claim that the World Health Organization changed COVID-19 testing protocols for political reasons following Joe Biden’s inauguration and admitted that false-positive cases had been inflating the case count. The WHO’s guidance merely reminded labs to follow instructions provided by each test’s manufacturer.
A report from two dozen experts — including a doctor named to President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board — recommended using existing social service programs to connect people with COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The report did not advise requiring vaccination in order to receive such services, as social media posts falsely claim.
The U.S. military may assist in the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, but it will not forcibly administer vaccines, as a viral article shared on social media falsely suggests. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has said mandatory vaccination “would be unenforceable and not appropriate.”