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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center
SciCheck’s COVID-19/Vaccination Project

Viral Post Misleads on COVID-19 Death Reporting, Vaccine Monitoring

Viral Post Misleads on COVID-19 Death Reporting, Vaccine Monitoring

A tweet that migrated across social media platforms falsely suggests that any deaths in the 20 days following positive COVID-19 tests are to be attributed to the disease, “no matter what other factors were involved.” There is no such policy. And there’s also no evidence for the post’s suggestion that the vaccines are causing deaths that are being ignored.

Meme Featuring DeSantis Presents Misleading Picture of COVID-19 and Vaccine Safety

Meme Featuring DeSantis Presents Misleading Picture of COVID-19 and Vaccine Safety

COVID-19 was the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020. But a meme featuring Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis minimizes the toll the pandemic already has taken — particularly among the elderly. The meme also questions getting inoculated, despite the safety record of the vaccines and DeSantis’ public support for vaccines.

Vaccines Benefit Those Who Have Had COVID-19, Contrary to Viral Posts

Vaccines Benefit Those Who Have Had COVID-19, Contrary to Viral Posts

There is no evidence that vaccines could cause harm to people who already have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or have become ill with the disease COVID-19. On the contrary, recent studies show the vaccine gives an important immunity boost to those previously infected and suggest that one dose might be enough. 

Irish Professor Makes Unfounded Claims About Long-Term Effects of mRNA Vaccines

Irish Professor Makes Unfounded Claims About Long-Term Effects of mRNA Vaccines

The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines authorized for use were found to be safe and effective in clinical trials and real-world conditions. A professor in Ireland baselessly claims in a video circulating on social media that they are not, and that those who get the vaccines will die as a result within several years.

Idaho Doctor Makes Baseless Claims About Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines

Idaho Doctor Makes Baseless Claims About Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines

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.

The Facts on the Recommended J&J Vaccine ‘Pause’

The Facts on the Recommended J&J Vaccine ‘Pause’

Nearly 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the U.S., including 7.2 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The CDC and FDA recommended “a pause in the use” of the J&J vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” because of six cases of a rare type of blood clot.

Texas Doctor Spreads False Claims About COVID-19 Vaccines

Texas Doctor Spreads False Claims About COVID-19 Vaccines

Federal officials authorized two mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 after they were determined to be safe and effective against symptomatic illness in clinical trials. But a Texas doctor, in a widely shared video, falsely claims the vaccines don’t provide protection and that they’re actually “experimental gene therapy.”

Instagram Post Misrepresents FDA Document About Monitoring Vaccine Safety

Instagram Post Misrepresents FDA Document About Monitoring Vaccine Safety

A Food and Drug Administration presentation on monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines listed possible adverse events the agency might track. But an Instagram post misrepresents the document, falsely claiming it shows the vaccines are known to cause harmful side effects — including death.

Hagler’s Widow Refutes Rumors About How He Died

Hagler’s Widow Refutes Rumors About How He Died

Hall of Fame boxer Marvelous Marvin Hagler “died on March 13 of natural causes,” according to a statement posted on his official website. In a Facebook post, his widow, Kay Hagler, wrote that his death was not the result of a COVID-19 vaccination.

RFK Jr. Video Pushes Known Vaccine Misrepresentations

RFK Jr. Video Pushes Known Vaccine Misrepresentations

A video stoking fears of the COVID-19 vaccines in the Black community is being promoted online. But the film repeats misrepresentations about vaccines, generally, and exploits historical cases of unethical medical conduct to suggest without evidence that COVID-19 vaccines are unsafe.