COVID-19 vaccines are generally safe and have not killed 17 million people worldwide, contrary to claims amplified by podcaster Bret Weinstein during an interview with Tucker Carlson. Weinstein also inaccurately characterized a proposed World Health Organization pandemic accord and other changes, claiming they aim to take away “personal and national sovereignty.”
Flu shots and vaccines that protect children against measles, mumps and rubella have been effective in preventing illness, serious disease and death. But a meme has been circulating with the false suggestion that those vaccines are ineffective. Actually, they’ve saved millions of lives and have eliminated both measles and rubella in the U.S.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, is an advocate for equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines in countries around the globe. But a social media post misleadingly claims, “Tedros says he isnt vaccinated.” Tedros shared a tweet on May 12, 2021 showing himself receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Numerous studies have found that additional COVID-19 shots are generally associated with extra protection against the coronavirus. Many people on social media, however, have shared a preliminary finding from a Cleveland Clinic study and misrepresented it as proving that getting more doses increases a person’s risk of infection.
Dozens of studies support the use of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which have a good safety profile and work well in preventing severe disease and death. Yet, citing a single, flawed paper, a British cardiologist known for peddling misinformation has misleadingly argued that the shots are harmful and “should never have been approved.”
Russia developed a COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, in 2020. President Vladimir Putin has said he received three doses of the vaccine, and the government continues to urge Russians to get vaccinated against the disease. But social media posts falsely claimed Putin “ordered the destruction of all” COVID-19 vaccine stockpiles in Russia.
As the virus that causes COVID-19 has evolved, the vaccines have become less effective in preventing symptomatic infection while remaining highly effective in preventing severe disease and death. This shift has been misrepresented by anti-vaccine influencers who falsely claim that it means the vaccines don’t work and have been ineffective all along.