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

Tucker Carlson Misrepresents Vaccine Safety Reporting Data

Tucker Carlson Misrepresents Vaccine Safety Reporting Data

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System accepts any reports of adverse side effects following vaccination to help regulators detect potential problems. Anyone can submit a report, whether or not the incident is vaccine-related. Fox News host Tucker Carlson misrepresented the VAERS data to suggest that thousands have died from COVID-19 vaccines.

So Far, Vaccines Remain Effective Against Variants

So Far, Vaccines Remain Effective Against Variants

So far, COVID-19 vaccines have been effective against variants of the coronavirus. Scientists are monitoring the situation carefully, with updated or new vaccines a possibility in the future, if need be.

Post Misleads on Japan’s Policy for Donating Blood After COVID-19 Vaccination

Post Misleads on Japan’s Policy for Donating Blood After COVID-19 Vaccination

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.

No Scientific Basis for Vaccine ‘Shedding’ Claims

No Scientific Basis for Vaccine ‘Shedding’ Claims

COVID-19 vaccines do not contain a live virus, so there isn’t a biological path for a vaccinated person to “shed” the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to those around them. Nor is there any evidence the vaccines cause reproductive problems. That means there’s no basis for social media claims that “shedding” causes reproductive issues in unvaccinated people. 

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.