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Correcting this week’s misinformation: week of April 27, 2023

Aneurysms and COVID-19 Vaccines?

The Claim:

nuclear radiologist without a current medical license claims that a COVID-19 vaccine caused Jamie Foxx’s brain aneurysm and that aneurysms are a common side effect of the vaccine.

The Facts:

The press reports that Actor Jamie Foxx has experienced a medical complication. No information about that complication, or if it was even an aneurysm, has been released, only that he seems to be recovering. There is also no indication that he was vaccinated or when his last vaccine dose would have been if he were vaccinated.

Given the lack of real facts, this claim is meritless. This particular unlicensed nuclear radiologist gets attention with tweets blaming many deaths on vaccines without any evidence at all that the deaths were in any way related to vaccines or, in many cases, that the people had even been vaccinated prior to their deaths. He just trolls obituaries and decides it was the vaccine, probably.

There is no evidence that the COVID vaccine causes brain aneurysms, much less enough that it could be deemed common. Each year approximately half a million deaths from brain aneurysms occur worldwide, about half of them in people under 50.

100% is basically 0%

The Claim:

A self-described “Man with an iPhone” on Twitter claims that nefarious forces conspired to trick people into thinking that the COVID-19 vaccine would stop the disease, even though they are now shamelessly backpedaling that point.

The Facts:

There was no effort to trick people into believing that COVID-19 vaccines would completely stop the virus. The only trick here is that, while trying to get more information about these quotes in this claim, we found the only source of Fauci’s quote listed in this meme is the meme itself or those referencing it. In truth, health officials and experts have been clear that COVID-19 vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection or transmission, but they do significantly reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

The scientific understanding of COVID-19 and its prevention constantly evolves as researchers learn more about the virus and its variants. Vaccine efficacy can decrease over time and as new variants occur. Governments and health officials have been providing the most up-to-date information based on the available evidence and have been transparent about the limitations and potential risks associated with vaccines. Science!

RSV in adults

The Claim:

cardiologist-turned-wellness influencer claims that the RSV vaccine’s risks outweigh the benefits in adults.

The Facts:

The CDC estimates that between 60,000-160,000 older adults in the United States are hospitalized every year due to RSV infection, and 6,000-10,000 of them die. Additionally, these adults can act as vectors spreading RSV to others, including to infants, for whom RSV can be deadly.

The adult RSV vaccines under development have shown promising results in clinical trials, showing an efficacy of about 85% without safety concerns. Rates of severe adverse events were similar in both the vaccine group and the placebo group, implying that the vaccine’s benefit outweighs the risks.

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