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Coronavirus: The Infodemic - January 18

A teacher (L) checks the body temperature of students wearing facemasks upon their arrival at a school in Lahore, Pakistan on January 18, 2021.
A teacher (L) checks the body temperature of students wearing facemasks upon their arrival at a school in Lahore, Pakistan on January 18, 2021.

Daily Debunk

Claim: “The killer [Remdesivir] vaccine designed to wipe out Africa.”

Remdesivir is not a vaccine, it is an anti-viral drug used to manage severe COVID-19. It has been distributed both inside and outside of Africa.

Verdict: False

Read the full story at: Reuters

Social Media Disinfo

Circulating on social media: A video has been posted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube claiming to show a man explaining how world leaders have used retractable syringes to stage their Covid-19 vaccinations.

Verdict: False

Read the full story at: AFP Fact Check

Factual Reads on Coronavirus

What we know about the new COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy
As the United States continues to set daily record highs for COVID-19 cases and deaths, the Trump administration is embracing a new vaccine distribution strategy: Give states all available doses instead of holding back supply reserved for second doses.
-- PolitiFact, January 13

How COVID unlocked the power of RNA vaccines
The technology could revolutionize efforts to immunize against HIV, malaria, influenza and more.
-- Nature, January 12

As the Vulnerable Wait, Some Political Leaders’ Spouses Get Covid Vaccines
Nowhere on the list of prioritized recipients are public officials’ spouses. Yet the first ladies of Kentucky and West Virginia; Republican Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen Pence; Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden; and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, were among the first Americans to get the potentially lifesaving shots.
-- Kaiser Health News, January 8

The Best Evidence for How to Overcome COVID Vaccine Fears
Social science offers valuable lessons about ways to convince those who are hesitant about the shots.
-- Scientific American, January 7​

Scientists are monitoring a coronavirus mutation that could affect the strength of vaccines
As scientists try to track the spread of a new, more infectious coronavirus variant around the world — finding more cases in the United States and elsewhere this week — they are also keeping an eye on a different mutation with potentially greater implications for how well Covid-19 vaccines work.
-- Stat, January 7

COVID-19 Scams: How They Work and How to Avoid Them
While some people are focused on COVID-19 and ways to get through the pandemic, scammers are looking for new ways to profit.
-- Trend Micro Check, December 30

A ‘duty to warn’: An ER doctor, shaped by war and hardship, chronicles the searing realities of Covid-19
-- Stat, December 21

COVID vaccine race leaders likely won’t be only ones to reap huge payday
Therapeutics and law expert lays out the economics of this drug development.
-- The Harvard Gazette, December 17

The lasting misery of coronavirus long-haulers
Months after infection with SARS-CoV-2, some people are still battling crushing fatigue, lung damage and other symptoms of ‘long COVID’.
-- Nature, September 14

Watch: Antibodies, immunity, and what they mean for Covid-19, explained
The immune system is no wimp. When pathogens cause illness, it kicks into high gear. Cells work together to tag, kill and gobble up invaders as they fight the infection.
-- Stat, May 5

The Best Coronavirus Myth-Busting Collections


COVID19 Infodemics Observatory

Agence France Presse



Associated Press

Washington Post


Mapping COVID-19 Casualties

Reliable Coronavirus Information

World Health Organization

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Federation of American Scientists

Emergency Physicians

Johns Hopkins University & Medicine​

Pan American Health Organization

Google COVID‑19 Information & Resources