Misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine continues to spread on social media, with widely-shared and misleading posts saying it’s ineffective or even harmful.
CapRadio’s PolitiFact California reporter Chris Nichols spoke with anchor Randol White for this week’s Can You Handle The Truth fact check segment.
On a false claim on Instagram about new COVID-19 cases
This started with a Yale University professor who appeared on Steve Bannon’s podcast in April. And the claim, which is just wrong, was that 60% of new COVID-19 cases came from vaccinated people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported what they call “breakthrough cases” where someone is fully vaccinated but still contracts the virus.
But out of the more than 100 million fully vaccinated people in the U.S., there have been only about 9,000 breakthrough infections. That’s less than 0.01%, a really small fraction. PolitiFact rated this Pants On Fire.
On a claim that people who are vaccinated have a significantly higher death rate than those who aren’t vaccinated
Our contributor Isabella Fertel fact-checked this claim, and it’s really a deceptive and incorrect post.
Public health experts told us that using these figures to calculate a death rate and compare it to the unvaccinated population is misleading because the vaccinated population skews much older and has more underlying health conditions.
But it also ignores the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. In the end there’s no evidence the death rate is higher for vaccinated people, and we rated it False.
On new data from the CDC that looked at how well the vaccine protects adults 65 and older
These are considered the first real-world findings in the United States, and they confirm the trial data for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
They found that fully vaccinated adults 65 or older are 94% less likely to be hospitalized with the virus than their non-vaccinated peers.
This study also found those same adults are 64% less likely to be hospitalized if they have received only one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
It’s important to note that public health experts say that no vaccine is 100% effective at preventing illness.
On a video circulating on Facebook making false claims about vaccines
The video alleges that people who are vaccinated can somehow shed parts of the vaccine leading to health complications like infertility or miscarriages for those who are not vaccinated. This again is completely wrong.
The CDC found in a preliminary study in April that there is no evidence linking the vaccines to infertility or to pregnancy complications.
The CDC also says that those who are pregnant, trying to conceive or would like to get pregnant someday can in fact get vaccinated against the virus.
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