Vaccine misinformation continues to spread across social media |

Vaccine misinformation continues to spread across social media

Rachel Mills
Created: March 08, 2021 05:45 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Posts circulating on social media suggested hundreds or even thousands of people have died after receiving their Covid vaccine. While these numbers may come from the Centers for Disease Control, the numbers alone are misleading.

"With every new vaccine that's released, we have the same kinds of issues come up where somebody gets a vaccine and a bad event happens to them. The tendency is to think temporality is causality, and it rarely is," Dr. Gregory Poland, director of Mayo Clinic's vaccine research group, said.  

Dr. Poland also said some people have died after receiving the vaccine, but we have no evidence that the vaccine had anything to do with their death. In fact, the CDC says the rate of death after receiving the vaccine is only 0.0018%. 

"In fact, this rate is lower than in people who don't get the vaccine. By chance alone, somebody is going to die one day, two days, three days ... whatever, after getting the vaccine," Dr. Poland said.  

The CDC reports the only issue some face after vaccination is an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis, but even then, the chances of an allergic reaction are rare.

"Between two and five cases per million doses of vaccine. If you look at the rate of death from anaphylaxis, it's about one or two people per 10 million. So that tells you it's easily recognized and it's easily treated," Dr. Poland said. 

Dr. Poland also suggested people should get information from a more reliable source than social media. 

"On a decision like this that is so important to the health of yourself, your family, workmates, your community, get credible information. You want to go to CDC to Mayo Clinic, to any major academic medical center's website, but you don't make that decision based on something you read on Facebook or on the internet," Dr. Poland said. 

He also said if you have been allergic to other vaccines in the past and you're worried about having a reaction to the covid vaccine, go get tested by your doctor and tell them ahead of time.

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