FullFact has debunked social media posts claiming the German government halted the use of Covid vaccines for being unsafe and frozen the licensing of vaccines. The FullFact verdict is that government suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines to over 60s in March but it has not prohibited Covid-19 vaccinations or licensing.
The Journal has debunked claims made in an online video that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine contains high quantities of a chemical known as graphene oxide. The FactCheck found no evidence to support the claim.
The sister of a 22-year-old Wexford woman has called on anti-vaccination groups to stop using photographs of her recently-deceased sister alongside false claims that the woman died as a result of receiving a Covid-19 vaccine.
The Journal has fact-checked this story.
According to an Associated Press analysis and confirmed by medical experts, this false claim is based on U.K. data presented without proper context. Reports of death resulting from COVID-19 vaccination are rare. Meanwhile, more than 4 million people worldwide have died from COVID-19.
A video shared on an anti-vaccination social media page has alleged that 100 vaccinated people a day are being hospitalised in Cork due to harmful side effects. Cork University Hospital has disputed the claims. Cases of hospitalisation from vaccine-related side effects are vanishingly rare, and are generally mild symptoms such as headaches, nausea, and muscle pains. According to the Clinical Lead in Emergency Medicine at Cork University Hospital the ‘vast majority’ of people complaining of vaccine side effects who turn up at the hospital are released within an hour. The Journal has fact-checked this video.
A controversial paper that has not been peer-reviewed is being shared on social media as proof that the long-standing anti-vaccine claim that mRNA vaccines alters genomic DNA is true. In reality, the conclusions of the paper are being misrepresented. The paper itself specifically states that it is not claiming this, but contends that it is hypothetically possible. The study’s methodology and conclusions are contested. Reuters has fact-checked this misrepresentation of controversial research.
A satirical video showing people being chased by ‘vaccine bandits’ in Los Angeles intent on forcing vaccinations on the unwilling is being spread online. The video originated on a satire account and includes video repurposed from unrelated surveillance footage from Canada. A representative from the account has confirmed that it was intended as a joke. Vaccines are not mandatory in Los Angeles. Reuters has debunked this video as satire.
A viral video featuring a doctor at a school board meeting in the United States has spread the unsubstantiated claim that the rise in COVID-19 cases over the summer has been due to an exceptionally rare medical phenomenon. This condition, called ‘antibody dependent enhancement’, causes a vaccinated individual to experience more severe symptoms after an infection. In order for this claim to be true, the majority of new COVID-19 cases would have to be in vaccinated people, when in reality the opposite is true: the vast majority of new cases are occurring in people who have not been vaccinated. Politifact has debunked this doctor’s unsupported claims.
A persistent myth spread on social media concerns natural immunity after having contracted COVID-19. Claims vary between stating that vaccination is just as good as having had COVID-19 previously and is thus redundant to stating that vaccines offer inferior protection. However, recent studies have shown that reinfection is far higher among the unvaccinated when compared with the vaccinated. The best available data shows that the protection offered from natural antibodies can be short-lived, depending on the person. The AP has fact-checked this myth.
Posts on social media have been misinterpreting a satirical website that purports to be a portal where people can report their unvaccinated friends and family to the authorities for a chance to win money. The posts falsely claim that this website is evidence of creeping totalitarianism by shadowy forces capitalising on the pandemic. The website, which features a disclaimer clarifying that it is satire, was set up by a political candidate in the USA who has been critical of lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reuters has debunked this misunderstanding of political satire.
Check the Facts
There are many factchecking websites and organisations working hard to help you identify what is accurate and reliable and what is not.
FactCheck from The Journal.ie is Ireland’s only verified signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network Code of Principles, with commitments to non-partisanship, fairness, and transparency
FactCheckNI is Northern Ireland’s only verified signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network Code of Principles, with commitments to non-partisanship, fairness, and transparency.
The Poynter Institute also supports fact-checking in a number of ways, including the Politifact website, the Corona Virus Fact Alliance and the Corona Virus Facts Database.
The International Fact Checking Network is a unit of the Poynter Institute dedicated to bringing together fact-checkers worldwide by promoting best practices and exchanges in this field, underpinned by a code of principles.
The MediaWise Teen Fact-Checking Network (TFCN) publishes daily fact-checks for teenagers, by teenagers and is a verified signatory of the International Fact-Checking Network’s code of principles.
Full Fact is a team of independent fact checkers and campaigners who find, expose and counter the harm that misinformation does
Snopes is the oldest and largest fact-checking site online and labels stories as ‘True’, ‘Mostly, ‘True’, ‘Mixture’, ‘Mostly False’ or ‘False’.
iHealthFacts is a Galway-based team doing science-heavy factchecks on COVID-19
Interrogate the data for yourself.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control provides situation updates for Europe
The Health Protection and Surveillance Centre provides Ireland-specific updates on COVID-19
The COVID-19 Data Hub is the official hub for COVID-19 statistics in Ireland
COVID-NMA is an international research initiative supported by the WHO and Cochrane. It shows all current trials and studies around COVID-19.