Just because a story appears online, doesn’t mean it is true. The internet is great, but it can also be used to spread misleading news and content. Protect yourself and your friends from false information about coronavirus vaccination. Use the SHARE checklist to help you spot false information to make sure you don't contribute to the spread of harmful content.Discover the checklist
When shared, false information can take on a life of its own and have some serious consequences. It can lead to health scares, false accusations and potentially damaging hoax stories. Recently there has been a lot of this kind of false information about coronavirus and the new vaccines designed to tackle it. It’s not always easy to spot, so use the SHARE checklist to make sure that you are not contributing to the spread of harmful content.
A viral social media post circulated claimed that a Stanford University study found that you can check you don’t have coronavirus if you hold your breath for 10 seconds. Stanford University had to tweet to correct this false information. This advice is based on false assertions that medical sources have disproven. Always check the NHS website for the facts.
Having an effective COVID-19 vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves from the virus, saving tens of thousands of lives. While people understandably have questions about vaccine development, there have been a number of viral social media posts that make false claims about potentially life saving vaccines. False information has been shared about the ingredients or processes used to make vaccines, including absurd claims that vaccines contain 5G microchips. These claims have all been independently debunked. If you see information about vaccines, always check the NHS website for the facts.
False information spread on social media has caused some people to believe that 5G technology causes coronavirus. This false information led people to burn down cell towers providing communications to vulnerable people. There is no scientific evidence to back up this claim, which has been robustly debunked. Always check the credentials of people spreading conspiracy theories.
Social media posts are circulating with information claiming to come from distant contacts. One such social media contained 'medical advice' that came from a “friends uncle, with a masters degree, who works in a Hospital”. However, the source is not named, and the post contains speculation, false facts, and misleading information. Always make sure you know that the source of your information is reputable.
Rely on official sources for medical and safety information. Check the facts about vaccinations and coronavirus on the NHS website and GOV.UK.
Headlines don’t always tell the full story. Always read to the end before you share articles about coronavirus, including those about vaccines.
Analyse the facts. If something sounds unbelievable, it very well might be. Independent fact-checking services are correcting false information about coronavirus and vaccines every day.
Watch out for misleading pictures and videos in stories about coronavirus vaccines. They might be edited, or show an unrelated place or event. Check to see who else is using the photo.
Look out for mistakes. Typos and other errors might mean the information is false. Official guidance about coronavirus will always have been carefully checked.
The following are helpful tools and websites to help you better understand coronavirus, the vaccines and other topics, and spot false information about it.