Presidential candidate makes false claims about chickenpox and COVID-19 vaccines

A video of a presidential candidate alleging a connection between the chickenpox vaccine and shingles is circulating on social media. In the video, the candidate claims that studies have shown a connection between widespread chickenpox vaccination and shingles epidemics. In a separate post, the candidate raises concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, claiming that 50% of individuals who develop myocarditis from the vaccine are projected to either die or require a heart transplant within five years.

Risk level: High

Recommendation: The high profile origin of these claims elevates the risk. False claims about vaccine risks may promote vaccine hesitancy, and doctors may face questions about the risks associated with the chickenpox vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine. Health care providers may emphasize that people are much more likely to get shingles years after a chickenpox infection than years after a chickenpox vaccine. Health care providers may also emphasize that a COVID-19 infection is more likely to cause myocarditis than a COVID-19 vaccine, and cases of myocarditis caused by a COVID-19 infection are typically more severe.