Influencer manipulates CDC data to support false narrative about vaccines

An online influencer has manipulated CDC data to support their argument that COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective at preventing COVID-19 deaths. Their trending post cherry-picks slides from the CDC’s ACIP presentation, suggesting that vaccinating one million teenagers would, at best, prevent only one death and potentially result in 200,000 side effects. Their claim ignores subsequent data included in the ACIP presentation, which demonstrates the advantages of COVID-19 vaccination.

Risk level: Medium

Recommendation: Cherry-picking data is a common tactic used to spread false information. False claims around pediatric vaccination are especially concerning because children under 18 are one of the least vaccinated groups against COVID-19. Doctors may face questions about potential adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine and the necessity of getting an updated version. Talking points may emphasize that getting the updated COVID-19 vaccination remains the best protection against COVID-19 hospitalization, death, and long COVID and that major adverse reactions to the COVID-19 are rare.