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Coronavirus: The Infodemic - February 5

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past a painting representing Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines at Bisbe street, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain, January 27, 2021.

Fake news about the coronavirus can do real harm. is spotlighting fact-checks from other reliable sources here​.

Daily Debunk

Claim: The mRNA vaccines used against COVID-19 target a protein called syncytin-1, which is needed for placental formation and successful pregnancies.

Verdict: False

Read the full story at: Reuters

Social Media Disinfo

A guard opens the gate at the entrance to Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Bob Strong/File Photo
A guard opens the gate at the entrance to Camp VI, a prison used to house detainees at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Bob Strong/File Photo

Circulating on social media: Claim that U.S. President Joe Biden rolled out a plan to administer COVID-19 immunizations to detainees held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba before many Americans had received their first dose.

Verdict: Mixture

Read the full story at: Snopes

Factual Reads on Coronavirus

‘A question of choices.’ Pfizer vaccine leader on confronting new coronavirus variants
[Philip] Dormitzer spoke with ScienceInsider about how the company is responding to the new variants and what challenges it foresees as SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve in unpredictable ways.
-- Science, February 3

Comparing the Covid-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson
In an ideal world, a pandemic vaccine could be delivered in a single shot, so supplies could be stretched to cover a lot of people. It would trigger no side effect more significant than a sore arm. And it would be easy to ship and store. Soon, it seems, this ideal of a Covid-19 vaccine will be within reach.
-- Stat, February 2

How to redesign COVID vaccines so they protect against variants
Lineages that can evade immunity are spurring vaccine makers to explore ways to redesign their shots.
-- Nature, January 29

How do the leading COVID-19 vaccines work? Science explains
As countries like the United States and United Kingdom inoculate their residents with never-before-used vaccine technology, others, including Russia, China, and India, are investing in more traditional approaches, like inactivated coronavirus vaccines.
-- Science, January 29

COVID-Overwhelmed Hospitals Strain Staff and Hope to Avoid Rationing Care
There are times when critically ill patients must wait for beds, and some facilities have contingency plans to limit scarce supplies to certain patients.
-- Scientific American, January 27

Why Even Presidential Pressure Might Not Get More Vaccine to Market Faster
Americans are dying of covid-19 by the thousands, but efforts to ramp up production of potentially lifesaving vaccines are hitting a brick wall.
-- Kaiser Health News, January 26

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

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