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

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.

Pfizer CEO Got Vaccinated, Contrary to Claim in Video

Pfizer CEO Got Vaccinated, Contrary to Claim in Video

A video making the false claim that the Pfizer CEO “refuses” to get a COVID-19 vaccine has been circulating on Facebook. But the pharmaceutical company’s chief executive has said that he’s gotten his first shot.

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.

Will I have a choice in the specific vaccine I receive?

No, at least not to start. Supplies will still be limited for months, and it’s unlikely you will be able to choose which one you get.
For more about each vaccine, see “A Guide to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine,” “A Guide to Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine” and “A Guide to Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine.”

Video Targets Gates With Old Clip, Misleading Edit

Video Targets Gates With Old Clip, Misleading Edit

In a 2010 TED Talk focused on developing new technologies to drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Bill Gates briefly mentioned reducing the rate of population growth. A conspiratorial video circulating on Facebook misleadingly edits Gates’ talk to suggest his “wish” was to depopulate the planet through vaccines.

What does it mean to say a vaccine has 94% percent efficacy or higher?

Efficacy is a measure of how well a vaccine performs in a clinical trial. It specifically refers to a relative reduction in infection or disease when comparing the vaccinated group to the placebo (or control) group.
For instance, both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were primarily evaluated for their ability to prevent symptomatic COVID-19, with the former having a 95% efficacy and the latter having a 94% efficacy. This means your risk of getting sick is cut by 94% or more if you are vaccinated.