Explainer: What is the COVID-19 Delta variant?

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is nearly twice as infectious as the original COVID-19 virus and leads to higher likelihood of hospitalization and death. Delta currently accounts for 83% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. To protect against the Delta variant, infectious disease experts around the country are encouraging U.S. residents to be vaccinated.

Do unvaccinated people make up most of the current deaths from COVID-19?

Claim: An Associated Press article claims that 99% of new U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations/deaths are occurring among the unvaccinated.
Rating: This claim is MOSTLY TRUE. It is impossible to know the exact percentages of hospitalizations/deaths occurring in the unvaccinated and fully vaccinated because the data is not complete. However, all existing data overwhelmingly suggest that nearly all of the current hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 are among the unvaccinated. Multiple government officials, both Democrat and Republican, have also concurred with this assessment and have encouraged people to get vaccinated.

Explainer: How Facebook Spreads Misinformation

Billions of people around the world use social media services like Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family. Yet on July 20, 2021, President Joe Biden blamed the hesitancy around the COVID-19 vaccine on Facebook, saying that Facebook was allowing misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine to spread on its platform.

Biden’s statements about Facebook becoming a hub of COVID-19 misinformation is TRUE. Facebook has even admitted that misinformation is common on its platform. 

Do the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility?

Claim: A common myth around the COVID-19 vaccines that has circulated around social media is that they cause infertility.
Rating: This claim is FALSE. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said the vaccines are safe for anyone who is pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Their recommendation has been echoed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who have stated that the vaccines do not cause infertility.  In addition, numerous studies have found that the vaccines do not affect fertility in men or women, and do not affect pregnant women and their fetuses. 

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?

Claim: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children 12 years old and above.
Rating: This claim is TRUE. The CDC recommendations have been echoed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Union, and the World Health Organization. The Pfizer vaccine is safe for children 12 years old and above—within the age group 12-15, the vaccine was shown to be 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 infections. Vaccinating kids will also enable them to go back to in-person school.

Does the COVID-19 vaccine contain aborted fetal cells?

Claim: Many Americans have been sharing posts on social media about how the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine contains cells from aborted fetuses.
Rating: This claim is MOSTLY FALSE. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not contain any fetal cells. But fetal cell lines were used to develop the vaccine—fetal cell lines are not the same as fetal cells. Fetal cell lines are cells that were replicated in a lab from the cells of an aborted fetus. Fetal cell lines have been commonly used since the 1960s to develop vaccines, and it has been used to develop the measles, chicken pox, and hepatitis A vaccine. The Vatican has also released a statement saying Catholics can receive the J&J vaccine if there are no other COVID-19 vaccines available. 

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