Fake viral news stories aren’t new to Facebook, but this week, it’s REAL fake news circulating, not just a CNN piece that doesn’t conform to your political biases.
This piece is dangerous and has been one of the most engaged articles on Facebook over the past two weeks, despite its incorrect and downright fallacious information unsupported by science.
The fictitious write-up, from yournewswire, claims that the flu shot causes flu outbreaks and that many people are dying as a result.
The article in question cites “medical professionals” from the CDC, warns people against taking actions that could save their own lives, and could lead to real people getting ill unnecessarily, or even dying.
One quote from an anonymous “doctor” from CDC alleges that the common recurring theme among those that have lost their lives due to the flu virus this season is that they, in fact, received a flu shot. “We have seen people dying across the country of the flu, and one thing nearly all of them have in common is they got the flu shot,” the “physician” allegedly stated.
“Some of the patients I’ve administered the flu shot to this year have died,” the fictional doctor continues. “I don’t care who you are, this scares the crap out of me.”
As many viral stories are intended to do, this piece plays on people’s fear. If you don’t get a flu shot, you’re in trouble, and if you do….you might die?
The piece goes on to allege that the flu shot is potentially more dangerous than the virus itself. A claim that isn’t only unfounded, but dangerous.
“Many medical experts now agree it is more important to protect yourself and your family from the flu vaccine than the flu itself,” the article alleges.
Flu shots do not contain any active virus.
According to a post on the real Centers for Disease Control website, viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated) so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot.
There are three types of influenza vaccine, none of which can make you ill. One has an inactive form of the virus, one (recombinant version) contains no flu at all, and the third is a nasal vaccine, which contains a severely weakened form of the virus.
After the shot, you may experience side effects such as fever, soreness, or aches, but these aren’t due to a flu infection.
“If these problems occur, they begin soon after vaccination and are mild and short-lived,” the CDC writes. “Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it.”
Please don’t perpetuate this factless story by sharing on your social media. It is irresponsible and could be potentially dangerous.
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