Social media posts repeatedly misuse unverified reports to a federal database designed to detect safety issues in vaccines to falsely claim that COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous. In this video, FactCheck.org and Univision Noticias teamed up to debunk misleading statements spread by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
More than 400 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the U.S., and the vast majority of the reported side effects have been minor, such as pain at the injection site or fatigue.
But on May 6, Fox News host Tucker Carlson incorrectly suggested that more than 3,000 people have died from the COVID-19 vaccines as of April 23. Social media posts then spread this claim further.
Carlson’s claim is based on a misrepresentation of data collected by federal agencies to identify potential safety issues with vaccines. As we have reported, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, accepts any reports of adverse events following vaccination to help regulators detect potential problems. Anyone can submit a report, whether or not the incident is vaccine-related.
For more details, see our story “Tucker Carlson Misrepresents Vaccine Safety Reporting Data,” which, like the video, is available in English and Spanish.
This video with Univision Noticias is part of a joint project funded by the Google News Initiative to produce bilingual videos and articles about COVID-19 immunization misinformation.
If you have a question about COVID-19, email Ask SciCheck, a project of FactCheck.org, at AskSciCheck@FactCheck.org. Tell them you are a reader of the Houston Forward Times. You can read previous Ask SciCheck answers here.