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- Articles about health problems featured in a Facebook post suggested that they were linked to COVID-19 vaccines, but that’s wrong, and one article predates the vaccine’s availability in the United States.
Six news articles being shared on social media feature a scary suggestion: that the health problems they mention were caused by COVID-19 vaccines.
"Don’t worry, it’s all just a big coincidence," reads text above images of the articles.
"Clearly has nothing to do with the experimental jab that was forced on the majority of the population over the past year and a half," a post sharing the images said. "Nope."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Let’s examine the articles.
"Fabulous news," says one headline from a U.S. edition of the tabloid newspaper the Sun. "Being sarcastic puts you at great risk of heart attack, docs warn." The article was published Sept. 15, 2020, about three months before the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were available in the United States.
Another headline was more current, from a July 25, 2022, CNN story that said "Napping regularly linked to high blood pressure and stroke, study finds." But the story mentioned neither the coronavirus nor COVID-19 nor vaccines.. One psychologist told CNN that "although taking a nap itself is not harmful, many people who take naps may do so because of poor sleep at night," which is associated with poorer health.
A third headline, from July 25 in the Daily Mail, a British tabloid, said: "Up to 300,000 Brits are unaware they may have potentially deadly heart condition … and many people have no symptoms at all." But this story didn’t mention COVID-19 vaccines, either. "The most common cause of aortic stenosis is wear and tear on the heart and it usually affects those aged over 65," the story said.
In June, the New York Post reported that "falling asleep with the TV on could bring early death: study." But this, too, was unrelated to COVID-19. The upshot: Researchers found that people who slept with ambient lighting, such as that from a television, were more likely to suffer from diabetes, obesity and hypertension, and could cause insulin resistance.
On July 29, the Daily Mirror, another British tabloid newspaper, published a story with this headline: "University student ‘dies of joy’ after hearing he’d passed his exams with flying colours." Mubarak Hussein Sayed Abdel-Jalil had a heart attack after the tests at his school in Egypt and died the same day, the Mirror said. But the story doesn’t mention COVID-19, or vaccines, and we found no other news reports tying his death to the vaccines.
Finally, there’s this July 1 Sun headline: "GREEN FINGERS: Urgent warning to gardeners as soil ‘increases risk of killer heart disease.’" The health risk here was not from COVID-19 vaccines, but from pollutants in the soil such as heavy metals, pesticides and plastics that can stress blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
The Instagram post appears to be nodding at a rare heart-related side effect linked to COVID-19 vaccines, myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. But the post suggests without evidence that the health issues in the articles it featured were caused by COVID-19 vaccines. Reading the articles confirms that they’re unrelated.
Health officials say COVID-19 poses a much greater heart risk than COVID-19 vaccines. The National Institutes of Health said the benefits of getting vaccinated "markedly outweigh the very small risk of vaccine-related myocarditis." The NIH also said the risk of myocarditis linked with COVID-19 illness is several times greater than the risk from vaccination, and is often more serious.
The articles in the Instagram post cover health problems, but they’re unrelated to COVID-19 vaccines. We rate this post False.
Instagram post. Aug. 15, 2022
The Sun, FABULOUS NEWS Being sarcastic puts you at greater risk of a heart attack, docs warn, Sept. 15, 2020
Stat News, First COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in states Monday, marking a pivotal moment in the pandemic response, Dec. 12, 2020
CNN, Napping regularly linked to high blood pressure and stroke, study finds, July 25, 2022
New York Post, Falling asleep with the TV on could bring early death: study, June 28, 2022
Daily Mirror, University student 'dies of joy' after hearing he'd passed his exams with flying colours, July 29, 2022
Medical News Today, New evidence finds heart conditions extremely rare after COVID-19 vaccination, July 19, 2022
National Institutes of Health, Q&A: COVID-19, Vaccines, and Myocarditis, visited Aug. 18, 2022
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