The flu shot is an effective measure to protect people from flu, and enhances protection when used with face masks

CLAIM
“Seriously if the ‘mask’ protects me and you from [COVID-19] and we've been walking around in them for months, why would anyone need a flu shot right now?”

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 05 Oct 2020

VERDICT

Mild side effects from flu shots are common; very serious adverse effects are very rare

CLAIM
Flu shots lead to severe or life-threatening conditions; flu shots are unsafe

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 05 Oct 2020

VERDICT

COVID-19 vaccines are not expected to be available for the public within several months, contrary to viral claim on social media

CLAIM
“The Government has released their initial plans to force a vaccine on everyone”; “Three potential vaccines are currently in Stage 3 trials in the United States and could be ready in weeks”

SOURCE: Mac Slavo, SHTFplan, Before it’s news

Published: 04 Oct 2020

VERDICT

COVID-19 is at least an order of magnitude more deadly than seasonal flu, according to current estimates

CLAIM
“COVID-19 [is] less deadly than [seasonal] flu”

SOURCE: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Facebook

Published: 01 Oct 2020

VERDICT

The total number of COVID-19 deaths thus far exceeds the number of abortions over two days worldwide

CLAIM
“More babies will die by abortion in two days than all the coronavirus deaths thus far”

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 30 Sep 2020

VERDICT

COVID-19 has caused many deaths due to high virus transmission, despite its relatively small infection fatality ratio

CLAIM
COVID-19 mortality rates are very low, therefore COVID-19 is not an important public health concern; if you are 70+ years old, you have a 0.054% chance of dying from COVID-19

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook, Fox News

Published: 29 Sep 2020

VERDICT

Using face masks does not increase the risk of skin or oral infections

CLAIM
Masks are dirty and cause bacterial overgrowth, skin infections, and “mask mouth, [which is] a new medical condition caused by wearing masks all day”

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 28 Sep 2020

VERDICT

COVID-19 vaccines do not modify the human genome and do not involve hydrogels; hydrogels are not internet-connecting devices

CLAIM
Hydrogels are part of the genome-modifying COVID-19 mRNA vaccines' delivery system; hydrogels will connect you to the internet

SOURCE: Facebook User, Facebook

Published: 25 Sep 2020

VERDICT

The virus causing COVID-19 most likely evolved in natural wildlife populations before spreading to humans

CLAIM
“[G]enetic evidence within the Spike gene of SARS-Cov-2 genome […] does exist and suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 genome should be a product of genetic manipulation”; “The characteristics and pathogenic effects of SARS-CoV-2 are unprecedented”

SOURCE: Li-Meng Yan, Zenodo

Published: 22 Sep 2020

VERDICT

Tuberculosis, the flu, and COVID-19 differ in disease prevalence and burden, requiring different public health responses

CLAIM
“Why don’t we wear masks for [tuberculosis]? Because CNN hasn’t instructed you to.”

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 21 Sep 2020

VERDICT