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.
Denmark announced a plan for its fall COVID-19 vaccination drive, saying it will offer omicron-specific booster shots to high-risk individuals, including everyone 50 and over. But U.S.-based misinformation peddlers misleadingly suggest that means the shots are unsafe for those under 50. The Danish Health Authority said that is a misinterpretation.
Viral claims have repeatedly misrepresented unverified data from a U.S. vaccine safety system that encourages reports of any potential side effects — whether they’re likely to be caused by the vaccine or not. Now we’re seeing the same phenomenon with a similar system in Germany. Some have wrongly claimed Germany found the COVID-19 vaccine caused “serious side effects” in a large number of people.
Raw numbers of hospitalizations or deaths among those who are vaccinated are not a good indicator of whether vaccines are effective. If the large majority of a population is vaccinated, it’s not surprising if most deaths are among the vaccinated. But social media posts misuse data from the U.K. to suggest the COVID-19 vaccines don’t work.