Vaccine rap battle full of misinformation


20 October 2021

What was claimed

The coronavirus is as deadly as the flu.

Our verdict

Without vaccination, evidence shows that Covid-19 has a higher death rate than the flu. Restrictions such as lockdowns, which are not implemented for influenza, have also suppressed the death toll.

What was claimed

Ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for symptoms of Covid-19.

Our verdict

The Department of Health and Social Affairs previously told Full Fact that, based on the available data, there is not enough evidence to prove that ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for Covid-19.

What was claimed

Fact checkers are funded by pharmaceutical companies.

Our verdict

Full Fact has never received funding from a pharmaceutical company, and a full list of major donors who have given over £ 5,000 is available online.

What was claimed

Unapproved vaccine trials don’t end until 2023.

Our verdict

The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine trials have an estimated completion date of April 2023, to account for participant samples collected up to two years after their final vaccine. This does not mean that they are unsafe for use now.

What was claimed

Millions of people have been injured by vaccines.

Our verdict

This is based on a common misunderstanding of the yellow card surveillance system. Suspected adverse events reported by the system are not proven side effects.

What was claimed

The risks of the vaccine for children outweigh the benefits.

Our verdict

The JCVI said the benefits of vaccination for healthy 12 to 15 year olds outweigh the known potential harms.

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1 of 6 complaints

A Facebook video, performed in the style of a rap battle and viewed over 36,000 times, makes a number of misleading claims about Covid-19 and vaccines.

In it, the self-proclaimed ‘truth’ tells his ‘vaxxer’ alter-ego that Covid-19 is as deadly as the flu, alludes to ivermectin as an effective treatment for the virus, and describes the side effects reported through the system of the yellow card.

These claims, along with others made in the video, are identical to the misinformation we saw circulating throughout the pandemic and the subsequent vaccination program.

Here are the facts on six key points raised during the video.

The coronavirus is much more deadly than the flu

Comparisons between the Covid-19 and the flu have been made very early in the pandemic, and we have verified them several times before.

It is difficult to compare the two. Many measures, such as national lockdown restrictions, have been taken to suppress the spread of Covid-19, which had not been introduced previously to limit the spread of influenza viruses.

More … than 45 million people in the UK have now also received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Although a seasonal flu vaccination program is put in place every year, it reaches a lower proportion of the UK population than the Covid-19 vaccine. For example, in England in 2020, 80.9% of people aged 65 and over have been vaccinated against the flu. Meanwhile, in England, each age group 65 and over has a Vaccination rate against Covid-19 of at least 92%.

Evidence shows that Covid-19 is more contagious than influenza in the absence of any protection and, especially without vaccination, has a higher death rate.

Ivermectin is not a proven treatment for Covid-19

During the video, the character posing as a ‘real’ says, “We have safe and effective drugs to cure and relieve all symptoms. Have you ever heard of Ivermectin? ”

Ivermectin, a antiparasitic drug, has been the subject of important debate throughout the pandemic, amid speculation it could be used to treat the virus.

As we wrote previously, the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency stated that ivermectin should not be used in patients with Covid-19, except in a clinical trial. The Department of Health and Social Affairs previously told us that, based on the available data, there was insufficient evidence to prove that ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for Covid-19.

How Full Fact (and the BBC) are funded

During the video, it is claimed that the fact checkers are funded by pharmaceutical companies. The speaker is not specific about which fact checkers he is referring to, but Full Fact has never received donations from drug companies.

We list all donations over £ 5,000 on our website. To see the full list and learn more about how we are funded and how we protect our neutrality, click here.

Allegations that fact checkers are funded by pharmaceutical companies have been raised in the past. For example, a American politician underlined in April that‘s SciCheck Covid-19 Project / Vaccination is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which owns shares in Johnson & Johnson.

The video also claims that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the BBC’s top ten donors. While it is true that the The foundation donated over £ 1.5million to BBC Media Action in 2019/2020, that does not mean that they are directly funding the BBC.

BBC Media Action was founded by the BBC in 1999 as an international development charity. He manages a variety of projects around the world, for example, efforts to improve digital literacy for women in India, communicating information to Rohingya refugees and fight against disinformation on Covid-19 in Nigeria. If it applies the same editorial standards and works in close collaboration with the broadcaster, he is legally and financially independent.

The vaccines have been fully tested and are safe to use

It is also claimed that vaccine trials are not expected to end until 2023. This is a common claim, often aimed at inferring that vaccines are not safe to use.

As we wrote previously, in December 2020, the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca research teams published their analyzes of the phase three safety and efficacy data. Moderna released theirs in February 2021.

The 2023 date mentioned in the video is the estimated study end date for the Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines. An estimated study end date is the estimated date “on which the last participant in a clinical study was screened or received intervention / treatment to collect final data for primary outcome measures, secondary outcome measures and adverse events ”.

For the Pfizer vaccine, the main outcomes include reactions such as pain at the injection site, systemic side effects such as fever or vomiting, and adverse events.

Many of the secondary outcome measures involve examining or measuring samples of participants up to two years after their final vaccine. The completion date must therefore be within a few years.

Yellow card reports are not proven side effects

A significant proportion of the video is devoted to the list of reported adverse events to Covid-19 vaccines, published by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Yellow card system.

The speaker in the video says “millions of people have been injured” by the vaccines, using the yellow card reports as evidence. As we have written many times before, yellow card reports are not proven side effects, and it is extremely misleading to portray them as such.

MHRA own website reports: “It is very important to note that a yellow card report does not necessarily mean that the vaccine caused this reaction or event”.

He adds: “Many suspected ADRs [adverse drug reactions] marked on a yellow card are unrelated to the vaccine or drug and it is often a coincidence that they both occurred at around the same time.

The benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks to children

The claim that the risks of vaccines outweigh the benefits to children has been repeated throughout the vaccine rollout, and is one that we have already verified.

It is true that healthy children (those with no underlying health conditions) are at very low risk of dying or becoming seriously ill after contracting Covid-19. But even for these children, it’s not as simple as saying the risks of the vaccine outweigh the benefits.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) reviewed the evidence on the risks and benefits of vaccination and concluded that: “Overall, the committee is of the opinion that the benefits of vaccination [for healthy 12-15-year-olds] are slightly greater than the known potential damage… but recognizes that there is considerable uncertainty as to the extent of the potential damage. “

He also said: “The profit margin, based primarily on a health perspective, is considered too small to support advice on a universal immunization program for otherwise healthy 12-15 year olds.”

Deployment of the vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 started in september, according to the chief medical officers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland wby heart to ministers recommending vaccination for this age group for public health reasons.

During this section of the video, a quote attributed to former Pfizer scientist and lockdown skeptic Dr Mike Yeadon appears onscreen, stating that children are 50 times more likely to die from the Covid vaccine. 19 virus. Spanish fact checkers Maldita to have previously verified this assertion, describing it as false and without proof.

This article is part of our job checking for potentially fake Facebook images, videos, and stories. You can read more about it and find out how to report Facebook content here. For the purpose of this program, we have evaluated this claim as partly wrong
as it repeats a number of popular misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccines and the virus itself, many of which have already been verified.

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