Popular post uses religion to challenge COVID-19 vaccine safety

A popular social media post asked health care providers whether they have seen an increase in strokes, heart attacks, myocarditis, infertility, and deaths in the Muslim community. The post falsely claims that Muslim communities are largely unvaccinated against COVID-19 because the vaccines are not halal. The post also suggests that COVID-19 vaccines cause adverse reactions and insinuates that Muslims are in better health than the rest of the population due to low vaccination rates. Some commenters on the post allege that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility and mass death. 

Risk level: Medium

Recommendation: This post and its responses promote multiple false claims about COVID-19 vaccination rates, vaccine safety, and religious beliefs. Debunking messaging may emphasize that 76 percent of Muslim Americans have received the COVID-19 vaccine, which aligns with other religious affiliations. Additional messaging may emphasize that adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines are extremely rare, that the benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential risks across age groups, and that COVID-19 vaccines prevent severe illness and death. It is recommended doctors be prepared to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines and religious beliefs. Doctors may emphasize that COVID-19 vaccines are halal, because they do not contain any components of porcine origin.