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Correcting this week’s misinformation: October 27, 2022

Are doctors changing their minds about the COVID vaccine?

The Claim:

A group out of New Zealand is claiming that a prominent pro-vaccine doctor has changed her stance about COVID vaccines.

The Facts:

The doctor in question, Dr. Petousis-Harris, has been quite clear that she believes the vaccine is life-saving, recently saying “The first vaccines deployed were effective beyond expectation.”

When speaking specifically to the bivalent booster, however, Dr. Petousis-Harris believes that while the booster can be quite useful for some, it has limited utility for others. “The argument for the benefit of a second booster in a young healthy person is very different to the argument for a second booster in a person living in an aged care facility.”

Her statements are not a change of heart. In fact, she is saying that the original series plus booster was so helpful, that additional doses won’t offer significantly more protection.

Prominent person death: Leslie Jordan

The Claim:

The death of actor, LGBTQ rights activist, and all-around charming human Leslie Jordan has the usual suspects claiming that vaccination took his life.

The Facts:

The unfortunate passing is Leslie Jordan has not yet been determined, with the cause of death listed as “deferred pending additional investigation.” He was a 67-year-old man who had been feeling unwell for some weeks.

There is no evidence that his death was due to vaccines, but people will often believe what fits their pre-chosen narrative even without proof.

(Correction: an earlier version mistakenly used the name Leslie Jones instead of Leslie Jordan. Leslie Jones, comedian, is alive and well at the time of this newsletter posting, we apologize for any confusion.)

English language and Long-COVID

The Claim:

One Twitter sleuth thinks that because people only search for long-COVID in English-speaking countries, the entire phenomenon is a fraud perpetrated among those who speak English.

The Facts:

There are numerous articles and papers from places like Japan, Sweden, Italy, and Brazil speaking about long COVID, so why then, might places that don’t speak English not search for the term “Long COVID”? It might just have to do with the fact that “Long COVID” is, well, an English term, and other languages have their own terms for the condition, ones they’d use when using a search engine to look up information about it. Fun fact: “Long Covid” in Spanish is “covid persistente”.

People who suffer from lingering symptoms after their recovery from COVID deserve to be taken seriously by people who understand that Long-COVID is real. It is thought that people may suffer from organ damage due to COVID leading to long-term and debilitating symptoms such as shortness of breath, brain fog, and fatigue. These symptoms don’t really care what language you speak.

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