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Flu Vaccines Do Not Make Children Vulnerable To Coronavirus Infections - BOOM
Studies found no evidence that the influenza vaccine increases the risk of contracting a
Social media posts claim children vaccinated against the flu are at a significantly higher risk of contracting other respiratory infections, including coronaviruses. This is false; large studies in British Columbia and the US found no evidence that the influenza vaccine increases the risk of contracting a coronavirus, and health officials throughout North America recommend the flu vaccine for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Bombshell as flu shots found to cause huge increases in coronavirus infections," says the headline of an article shared as a screenshot on July 31, 2020 on Facebook. "Children who are vaccinated with flu shots have a 440 percent increase in risk of contradicting other respiratory infections such as coronavirus, researchers found in a published paper," claims the post, which also circulated on Instagram.Screenshot of a Facebook post taken on August 3, 2020 Several posts claim the evidence came from "The British Medical Journal," sharing this link. However, that is not a scientific study, but rather a response to an article about the COVID-19 pandemic from a retired pediatrician. Also Read: Dr Anthony Fauci Falsely Linked To 2005 Study On HCQ And Coronaviruses BMJ executive editor Theodora Bloom explained in an email that "Rapid responses" are comments to the editors that appear on the journal's website but "are not indexed in PubMed and they are not journal articles." "Although we moderate Rapid Responses to ensure they are not libellous, for example, they are certainly not endorsed by the publication," she said. Another version of the post reveals that the source of the claim is an article on the website NaturalNews, one of a network of internet domains found to host health disinformation which AFP has fact-checked in the past. NaturalNews was removed from Facebook in May 2020 "for spammy and abusive behavior, not the content they posted," according to a Facebook spokeswoman. "They misled people about the popularity of their posts and relied on content farms in Macedonia and the Philippines." Screenshot of a Facebook post taken on August 3, 2020 Brian Ward, professor in the McGill University Department of Medicine, said in an email that the claim has been "cherry-picked from a very weak study." It is based on a 2012 study titled: "Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine." The study was conducted from 2008-2009, a decade before the novel coronavirus pandemic, and only included 115 children during one flu season. It found that over nine months, the children in the group that received trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine "had an increased risk of virologically-confirmed non-influenza infections." Ward explained that the study, though published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, has methodological flaws, including having 1.5 times more children in the flu vaccine group, compared to the placebo group. Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Medicine, also said in an email that it is important not to overstate the findings of a small study. Gilbert further explained: "It isn't that the flu shot directly made children more susceptible to other viruses." She said the children in the placebo group who were not vaccinated were more likely to get the flu and there seemed to be short-term protection from other viruses right after recovering from the flu. Based on this study, "no-one should make decisions to avoid flu vaccinations," Gilbert said. Also Read: Social Media Posts Falsely Claim Viruses Do Not Harm Or Kill People Flu shot and coronavirus risk Danuta Skowronski, the principal investigator at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC), published a study in May 2020 that included thousands of people over multiple flu seasons in Canada. It found the "influenza vaccine did not affect seasonal coronavirus risk." Skowronski, who plays a critical role in Canada's national influenza program, helped develop test negative design, a methodology used worldwide to monitor how well the influenza vaccine protects. Asked if there was any particular coronavirus risk to children who receive the flu shot, Skowronski said: "We saw no association in children nor in adults between the receipt of influenza vaccine and coronavirus risk." Similarly, a 2013 study conducted in the US state of Wisconsin covering six flu seasons and including more than 3,000 patients found: "Influenza vaccination was not associated with detection of noninfluenza respiratory viruses." Claims that a 2017 study also found the flu shot left people vulnerable to infections were also shown to be misleading by AFP Fact Check here. Flu shot recommended The US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has not yet voted on the flu vaccine recommendations for 2020-2021, but Lisa Black, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), said in an email that AAP has not changed its guidance because of the pandemic and "recommends that everyone over 6 months is vaccinated for influenza." The same is true of the Canadian Paediatric Society. Spokeswoman Genevieve Brouillette said in an email: "Our general guidance (that everyone over 6 months of age be immunized against the seasonal flu) won't be changing." The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that how and where people get a flu vaccine may need to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was echoed by Oxford's Gilbert: "People leaving their homes to receive flu shots should take care to protect themselves against exposure to coronavirus by following all the public health guidelines on social distancing, handwashing and wearing face coverings." Also Read: No, The USA Is Not Testing COVID-19 Vaccine On Ukrainian Soldiers The flu shot is a regular target of disinformation. AFP Fact Check has debunked the false claim that the vaccine contains coronaviruses, the false claim that receiving a flu shot will make you test positive for COVID-19, and false ingredient lists for the annual immunization.
Deepika Padukone Spotted Buying Alcohol During The Lockdown? Not Quite - BOOM
The video is of actress Rakul Preet Singh, who had stepped out to buy medicines and essentials on...
A video of actress Rakul Preet Singh walking out of a medical and provision store in Bandra's Pali Hill is going viral with netizens misidentifying Singh as actress Deepika Padukone and claiming that the latter was spotted buying alcohol during the ongoing lockdown. Liquor stores which had opened in Mumbai on May 4, 2020 as per the Maharashtra government's instructions to operate standalone shops in red zones, were then asked to close down. Mumbai's municipal corporation - BMC on May 6 decided to discontinue operations of standalone liquor shops and non-essential outlets keeping in mind the increasing numbers of COVID-19 positive cases in Mumbai. The video, captured by Bollywood photographer Viral Bhayani's team, shows Singh come out of the medical-provision store after shopping. The clip is doing the rounds with the caption, "Deepika Padukone buying liquor in Mumbai..... Best example in social distancing..... No servants.........No drivers." BOOM received the video on its helpline number for verification. The same is being shared on Facebook with the above caption. ALSO READ: Posts Call For Boycott Of Non-Existent Shah Rukh Khan Film On Tipu Sultan Video is of Rakul Preet Singh and not Deepika Padukone BOOM reached out to Viral Bhayani, who clarified that the video was shot on the evening of May 5 by his team at the Pali Market in Bandra West. Bhayani said, "Rakul was out to buy essentials, when we shot the video. It was shot near the provision and medical store at Pali Market from which she stepped out." The video can be found on Bhayani's verified TikTok account as well. In a tweet Singh put to rest speculations about her stepping out to buy liquor. She retweeted a tweet by a Bollywood news and trade information handle KRK Box Office which speculated her venturing out during the lockdown period and clarified that she was out to buy medicines. Click here to view the archive of KRK Box Office's tweet. KRK Box Office had incidentally identified Rakul Preet Singh as Deepika Padukone in a now deleted tweet. Netizens called out the handle for peddling misinformation. Even if rakul preet or deepika buying an alcohol what's your problem?????????There is nothing wrong in buying and drinking alcohol MJ (@mnj256) May 7, 2020 Additionally, BOOM was also able to ascertain that Singh was stepping out of the Modern Medical and Provision stores located in Pali Market. Below is a frame by frame comparison of the area seen in the video and photos of the medical store found on Google Maps. The photo was uploaded on Google Maps in 2017. The yellow circle in both the frames shows the green and white awning that is visible in both the stores. Text spelling out Star Travels, located near the medical and provision store, can also be seen in both the frames (circled in red).
Did A COVID-19 Vaccine Volunteer In UK Die After Trial? A Fact Check - BOOM
The volunteer, herself, has dismissed the report, which was also denied by UK health officials.
An online report shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and Twitter claims that one of Britain's first volunteers to be injected with a trial coronavirus vaccine has died. However, the claim is false, originating from a website with a history of spreading misinformation. The volunteer, herself, has dismissed the report, which was also denied by UK health officials and the scientists behind the trial. The claim was published here in South Africa on a website called News NT. Since it was posted on Facebook on April 25, 2020, it has been shared nearly 70,000 times and seen by more than two million people, according to data provided by the social network. A screenshot taken on April 27, 2020, showing the misleading publication According to News NT, microbiologist Elisa Granato died two days after she was administered Britain's first trial COVID-19 vaccine. "A statement by the researchers said Elisa had complications few hours after taking the vaccine and died while on admission (sic)," the article read. Granato was one of the first two people to take part in the human trial of a new COVID-19 vaccine at Oxford University on April 23, 2020. The scientist told BBC in an interview that the decision was to "support the scientific process". As part of the process, the Oxford Vaccine Group, which is conducting the trial, hopes to vaccinate about 800 more people in Britain in the next month. History of misinformation The viral claim appears on Twitter here and here, while the link to the publication was also shared in several Facebook posts published globally, including in Australia, Nigeria, Kenya and the US. ALSO READ: No, Aspirin Mixed With Lemon Juice And Honey Will Not Cure COVID-19 But the website has a history of spreading misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, and there is no evidence to support the claim. In March 2020, Guyana's health ministry rejected as "fake news" a News NT's article that a family of three in the capital Georgetown died before testing positive for coronavirus. The site recently published an article that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had tested positive for the virus and was receiving treatment in an isolation ward after the death of his chief of staff, Abbah Kyari. The claim was false -- Buhari addressed Nigerians in a nationwide broadcast on April 27, 2020, shortly after the article was published. AFP has also debunked a similar claim here. We traced the website's history using site identity tool Whois.com and found that it was registered on March 4, 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. A screenshot taken on April 27, 2020, information about the website registration Granato rejected the claim in a video shared on April 26, 2020, by BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh, who covered the human trial of the Oxford vaccine. "I am very much alive," Granato said in 17-second footage posted on Twitter. "I'm having a cup of tea. It's Sunday, the 26th of April, three days after I got the vaccine or the control." Walsh also tweeted that the claim was "not true" when he published the video. "I spent several minutes this morning chatting with Elisa Granato via Skype. She is very much alive and told me she is feeling 'absolutely fine'," he wrote. AFP has contacted Granato for comment but is yet to hear from her. She has made her Twitter account private since the video was published. Meanwhile, Oxford University has also warned that people should not believe or share the report. "We are aware there have been and will be rumours and false reports about the progress of the trial," Oxford said in recent news about the trial progress. "We urge people not to give these any credibility and not to circulate them." Moreover, the UK Department of Health and Social Care has dismissed the report as untrue. "News circulating on social media that the first volunteer in a UK #coronavirus vaccine trial has died is completely untrue," it said in a tweet published on its official Twitter account.