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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Study Largely Confirms Known, Rare COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

Study Largely Confirms Known, Rare COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

An international study of around 99 million people confirmed known serious side effects of COVID-19 vaccination. It also identified a possible relationship between the first dose of the Moderna vaccine and a small risk of a neurological condition. Social media posts about the study left out information on the vaccines’ benefits and the rarity of the side effects.

Posts Mislead About COVID-19 Vaccine Safety With Out-of-Context Clip of FDA Official

Posts Mislead About COVID-19 Vaccine Safety With Out-of-Context Clip of FDA Official

Given the extra scrutiny and large number of doses, reports of possible side effects to a vaccine safety monitoring system increased with the COVID-19 vaccines. The high number of reports does not mean the vaccines are unsafe, contrary to suggestions made by posts sharing a clip of a Food and Drug Administration official acknowledging the surge.

CDC, Experts Say Fluoridated Water Is Safe, Contrary to RFK Jr.’s Warnings

CDC, Experts Say Fluoridated Water Is Safe, Contrary to RFK Jr.’s Warnings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and multiple expert groups endorse water fluoridation as a safe way to reduce tooth decay. However, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made a sweeping claim about fluoride’s effects on the nervous system, and promised to order the CDC to ban fluoride from tap water.

Amy Schumer Has Endometriosis, Not a Vaccine-Related Ailment

Amy Schumer Has Endometriosis, Not a Vaccine-Related Ailment

Comedian Amy Schumer has said she’s having “some medical and hormonal” issues related to endometriosis that have affected her appearance. But some social media users are falsely claiming that Schumer announced she is suffering from a vaccine-related ailment. Schumer has said no such thing.

Electric Vehicles Contribute Fewer Emissions Than Gasoline-Powered Cars Over Their Lifetimes

Electric Vehicles Contribute Fewer Emissions Than Gasoline-Powered Cars Over Their Lifetimes

Q: Are electric cars really better for the environment than gasoline-powered cars over their lifetimes? 

A: Yes. Electric vehicles typically release fewer greenhouse gas emissions than internal combustion engine vehicles during their life cycles, even after accounting for the increased energy required to make their batteries. And their carbon footprints are expected to get smaller in the near future.

Posts Misrepresent Mouse Study of Pangolin Virus

Posts Misrepresent Mouse Study of Pangolin Virus

A study showed a type of lab mouse is highly susceptible to a coronavirus derived from pangolins, a scaly, cat-sized mammal. This doesn’t mean the virus is dangerous to humans. The virus is related to the one that causes COVID-19 but did not descend from it, contrary to claims that it is a “mutant COVID-19 strain.” Nor did scientists “craft” the virus.

Posts Mislead About Measles, MMR Vaccine Amid Recent Outbreaks

Posts Mislead About Measles, MMR Vaccine Amid Recent Outbreaks

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can be serious and even fatal. Fortunately, it can safely be prevented by vaccination. But in the wake of outbreaks in the U.S. and elsewhere — likely in large part due to low vaccination coverage — social media posts have downplayed the risks of measles and falsely claimed the vaccine “is more dangerous than the actual illness.” 

Viral Posts Misuse Rat Study to Make Unfounded Claims About COVID-19 Vaccines and Autism

Viral Posts Misuse Rat Study to Make Unfounded Claims About COVID-19 Vaccines and Autism

COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy benefits both mother and baby. Side effects are generally mild, and studies don’t show negative effects on the baby. A criticized study that gave COVID-19 vaccines to pregnant rats doesn’t show that vaccines cause autism or that people shouldn’t get COVID-19 vaccines, contrary to claims.

Tucker Carlson Video Spreads Falsehoods on COVID-19 Vaccines, WHO Accord

Tucker Carlson Video Spreads Falsehoods on COVID-19 Vaccines, WHO Accord

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.”