The issue of how COVID-19 vaccines may impact fertility and/or pregnancy continues to be live. Health Minister Robin Swann told the Stormont health committee on 14 January 2021, that an anti-vaccination group targeted young female healthcare staff outside vaccination centres, saying COVID-19 vaccination would affect their fertility. He added that this message was “quite negative, quite wrong, potentially quite damaging”. This was also reported in the local media.
These particular anti-vaccination campaigners are not alone in this view. Theories are being spread across social media, particularly about the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, about how a protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus which causes COVID-19), called a “spike protein” works.
This is where it gets a little complicated. Continue reading COVID-19 vaccinations: fertility and pregnancy
Some suggestions when handling COVID-19 leaflets
30 July 2021
A number of leaflets about COVID-19 vaccines and their safety have been circulating in Northern Ireland. FactCheckNI has previously fact checked many of these claims. What is notable is how these leaflets are designed to communicate a lot of information, and more often than not are attributed to a specific group that may not previously have been well known (or indeed, known at all). Continue reading Some suggestions when handling COVID-19 leaflets
Two biological tests are being used in the UK to control the spread of COVID-19: (1) the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR, or PCR) test; and (2) the lateral flow device (LFD) test.
PCR tests tend to be used for people showing symptoms associated with COVID-19, while LFD tests are used for more widespread testing, including identifying asymptomatic people (who do not show symptoms but may be carrying the virus).
This article explains current understanding around LFD tests for COVID-19. FactCheckNI has previously published an article that looked in detail at PCR tests. Continue reading Lateral flow device tests for COVID-19
CLAIM: The Red Cross is refusing blood donations from anyone who has received a vaccination for COVID.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The British Red Cross does not collect or supply blood in the UK. The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service states that you must wait for seven days after receiving your COVID vaccination before you can donate. In the US, such claims about their Red Cross have been found to be inaccurate. Continue reading Is the Red Cross refusing blood donations from anyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccination?
“Long COVID” or “ongoing COVID” are terms given to those who remain ill with COVID-19 for a period of time longer than four weeks. Continue reading Long COVID
Online rumours and misinformation in Northern Ireland
by Dr Orna YOUNG
13 May 2021
Recent events in Northern Ireland have resulted in a renewed focus on the role of online rumours and false information in increasing inter-communal tensions and violence, particularly in interface areas of Belfast and specific areas of L~Derry. In Northern Ireland, where political, social and economic debate is often delineated along lines of perceived communal affiliation, false information and rumours have the potential to increase communal division and alienate communities from political processes and debates. Continue reading Online rumours and misinformation in Northern Ireland