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

Social Media Posts Twist Meaning of CDC, FDA Disclosure on Bivalent Booster

Social Media Posts Twist Meaning of CDC, FDA Disclosure on Bivalent Booster

Government health agencies disclosed a potential safety concern for strokes in those 65 and older with one of the COVID-19 vaccines, but the agencies haven’t found any causal relationship and the concern was flagged by just one of several monitoring systems. Anti-vaccine campaigners, however, have wrongly claimed the agencies have found a link between the boosters and strokes.

No Surge in Athlete Deaths, Contrary to Widespread Anti-Vaccine Claims

No Surge in Athlete Deaths, Contrary to Widespread Anti-Vaccine Claims

Sports medicine experts say there has been no increase in sudden death or cardiac injury among U.S. athletes since the COVID-19 vaccines became available. Yet anti-vaccine campaigners, comparing unreliable numbers to an unrelated study, have again spread a false narrative about vaccine safety since NFL player Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest.

NFL Player Damar Hamlin’s Cardiac Arrest Triggers Unfounded Social Media Claims

NFL Player Damar Hamlin’s Cardiac Arrest Triggers Unfounded Social Media Claims

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and suffered a cardiac arrest moments after taking a hit to his chest during a tackle. While it’s not yet known why his heart stopped, some experts say his condition is most likely due to a heart rhythm problem as a result of that impact. Still, people on social media have baselessly speculated that it was caused by a COVID-19 vaccine.

Social Media Posts Misrepresent FDA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research

Social Media Posts Misrepresent FDA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Research

A vaccine safety surveillance study from the Food and Drug Administration has been misrepresented online. The paper did not establish a link between the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and blood clots, as some have claimed — and to date, other, more robust research has not identified such associations.

Autopsy Study Doesn’t Show COVID-19 Vaccines Are Unsafe

Autopsy Study Doesn’t Show COVID-19 Vaccines Are Unsafe

To date, the benefits of COVID-19 mRNA vaccination outweigh the risks, which include a rare but increased risk of myocarditis, or heart inflammation. Social media posts, however, are citing a German autopsy study to misleadingly suggest otherwise.

Grant Wahl Died from Aortic Aneurysm, No Link to COVID-19 Vaccine

Grant Wahl Died from Aortic Aneurysm, No Link to COVID-19 Vaccine

American sportswriter Grant Wahl died unexpectedly while covering the soccer World Cup in Qatar, and purveyors of vaccine misinformation have suggested that his death was caused by COVID-19 vaccination. He actually died from the rupture of an aortic aneurysm that he didn’t know he had.

Blood Transfusion Doesn’t Transfer COVID-19 Vaccine

Blood Transfusion Doesn’t Transfer COVID-19 Vaccine

A blood transfusion from a vaccinated person doesn’t transfer the inoculation to an unvaccinated person. But high-profile purveyors of misinformation have been promoting the long-standing false claim that it does.

‘Died Suddenly’ Pushes Bogus Depopulation Theory

‘Died Suddenly’ Pushes Bogus Depopulation Theory

What appear to be ordinary postmortem blood clots are held up in a viral online video as supposed evidence that there’s a depopulation plot underway using COVID-19 vaccination to kill people. There’s no evidence for this theory. The hourlong video also repeats numerous falsehoods that have previously been debunked.

RSV Surge in Children Likely Caused by ‘Immunity Gap,’ Not COVID-19 Vaccine

RSV Surge in Children Likely Caused by ‘Immunity Gap,’ Not COVID-19 Vaccine

Hospitals across the country are seeing a spike of respiratory syncytial virus infections among children. Experts say the spike is most likely caused by an immunity gap created by the lack of exposure to the virus over the past couple of years. There’s no evidence the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is the cause, as viral posts falsely claim.

COVID-19 Vaccines Reduce, Not Increase, Risk of Stillbirth

COVID-19 Vaccines Reduce, Not Increase, Risk of Stillbirth

There is no link between COVID-19 vaccination and an increased risk of stillbirth, despite such claims online. In fact, vaccination has been shown in multiple studies to reduce the risk of stillbirth by protecting pregnant people and their babies from the coronavirus.