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.
The World Health Organization can make recommendations after the declaration of a global emergency, but it has no control over any nation’s decisions. Yet conservatives in the U.S. falsely claim that amendments proposed by the Biden administration to existing global health regulations, and a new WHO pandemic treaty, will threaten U.S. sovereignty.
Data on the number fires at food-processing plants in 2022 “does not signal anything out of the ordinary,” according to the National Fire Protection Association. Despite no evidence of foul play, unfounded rumors from conservative pundits suggest a rash of “mysterious fires” may be part of a plan to disrupt the food supply.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has continued making public appearances, although news coverage has largely shifted away from the pandemic since Russia invaded Ukraine in February and COVID-19 cases have dramatically fallen. Some politicians and pundits, however, have suggested that Fauci has become so unpopular that he has “disappeared” from public view. He hasn’t. Fauci has made at least a dozen public appearances since Feb. 15.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discussed a recent study that found that on the rare occasion when fully vaccinated people died from COVID-19, they often had multiple risk factors for severe disease. But her reference to vaccinated people was cut in a version of the interview — and conservative figures misleadingly claimed she was talking about all COVID-19 deaths.
Southwest Airlines’ flight cancellations fueled partisan claims over the weekend that transportation workers were protesting COVID-19 vaccine requirements and causing the cancellations. But there’s no evidence that workers staged protests. The Federal Aviation Administration, the airline and labor unions have all cited other reasons.
Q: How do people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 pose a risk to people who have been vaccinated?
A: An unvaccinated person who is infected with COVID-19 poses a much greater risk to others who are also unvaccinated. But vaccines are not 100% effective, so there is a chance that an unvaccinated person could infect a vaccinated person — particularly the vulnerable, such as elderly and immunocompromised individuals.