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
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. Continue reading COVID-19 vaccinations: fertility and pregnancy
Disinformation in a pandemic: sharing fact checkers’ experiences
23 March 2021
As part of the Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics, editors from three fact-checking organisations across these isles shared their experiences of work during the pandemic — Claire Milne (Full Fact), Christine Bohan (TheJournal.ie), and Allan Leonard (FactCheckNI). The event was hosted by Ciaran Hanna from InsideIreland.ie. Continue reading Disinformation in a pandemic: sharing fact checkers’ experiences