Social media posts circulating in multiple languages claim World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned some countries were administering vaccine booster shots in order to “kill children”. The posts spread online in December as countries around the world saw record surges of Covid-19 cases, likely driven by the Omicron coronavirus variant. But a review of Tedros’ actual remarks found he was in fact discussing global vaccine inequity — not commenting on the safety of Covid-19 vaccine boosters. A representative for the WHO told AFP that Tedros stuttered when delivering his remarks.
Global news agency Reuters published an article that said a Japanese company found ivermectin to be effective against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in human trials. The article was corrected to say that trials were non-clinical, meaning they did not test on people, but social media posts are still spreading the article’s original incorrect assertion that the drug was proven effective against Covid-19 in human test subjects.
As the highly contagious Omicron Covid-19 variant pushed governments to speed up rollouts of booster jabs, social media posts purported to share a poster issued by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) warning that the vaccines “cause Bell’s palsy”. The claim is false; Britain’s health department and local authorities in the town where the poster was displayed said it was not made by the NHS. Bell’s palsy, a condition that causes temporary facial drooping, is a rare side effect of Covid-19 vaccines.