A recent analysis falsely claimed that COVID-19 vaccines have killed 17 million people. The analysis was presented at a summit that challenged COVID-19 vaccines and policies. The researchers who conducted the analysis concluded that COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines should be classified as lethal toxic agents. In response to these claims, social media users expressed concerns about COVID-19 vaccine safety and argued that anyone promoting vaccines should be imprisoned.
Risk level: High
Recommendation: These social media posts may promote vaccine hesitancy. While these types of claims primarily circulate in vaccine opponent circles, the widespread nature of these posts elevates the risk. It is recommended doctors be prepared to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccine safety and flu vaccine safety. Messaging may emphasize that COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and monitored over three years and have been determined to be safe. The benefits of staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks, because getting vaccinated reduces the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization, death, and long COVID. Doctors may also emphasize that the flu vaccine is safe, and it reduces the risk of getting sick with the flu, reduces the risk of flu-related hospitalization, and reduces children’s risk of developing life-threatening influenza. The CDC recommends the updated COVID-19 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine for everyone six months and older.