Social media posts falsely attribute deaths in the Midwest to COVID-19 vaccines

Several recent social media posts are linking deaths in the Midwest to COVID-19 vaccines without evidence. One post claims that a woman died of “turbo cancer” caused by COVID-19 vaccines, and another equates university vaccine mandates with homicide.

Recommendation: These types of posts promote false claims about COVID-19 vaccine safety and the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Patients in the Midwest and others who encounter these false claims may doubt the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Messaging may emphasize that research has repeatedly debunked false claims that COVID-19 vaccines cause excess deaths. Additionally, “turbo cancer” is a term created by anti-vaccine advocates that has no basis in science. COVID-19 vaccines are not associated with increased cancer diagnoses, recurrences, or deaths. Adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccines are extremely rare, and COVID-19 vaccine mandates are intended to protect the health of individual students and their communities. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older because staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccination prevents severe illness, hospitalization, death, and long COVID.