COVID vaccines can’t give you herpes despite NY Post story

Recently, it appears as if the Murdoch-owned New York Post is on a mission to scare as many voters as doable in regards to the risks of getting vaccinated towards COVID-19.

Take as an illustration this sometimes unsubtle Tuesday-morning headline from the publication: “Herpes infection possibly linked to COVID-19 vaccine, study says.”

Sounds terrifying! Setting apart the herculean quantity of heavy lifting that the phrase “presumably” is doing in that sentence, the prospect of catching a dreaded STD is the form of factor that may make anybody second-guess vaccine security. Upon studying the article behind the story, nonetheless, one would then discover out that that is the substance of the matter: “Scientists in Israel recognized six circumstances in a brand new research of sufferers creating a pores and skin rash referred to as herpes zoster—or shingles—after receiving the Pfizer vaccine, according to a study in the Rheumatology journal.” Put this manner, the story is decidedly much less eyebrow-raising. (The “shingles” descriptor was apparently added to the story after the very fact, judging from a cached model.)


As one vaccine analysis scientist helpfully points out on Twitter, “Shingles can flare up with varied stressors, which is probably going what we’re seeing right here in sufferers with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic illnesses.” In different phrases, given the lots of of thousands and thousands of people that have been vaccinated around the globe, maybe a localized, single-digit spate of rashes isn’t value panicking over. An alternate headline, comparable to “Six vaccinated Israelis have shingles,” may need introduced a way of proportionality to the story—which positively must be its personal story and never merely a knowledge level on an unlimited chart—however it will be a lot much less sensational and scary and subsequently counter to New York Post’s obvious mission to search out any excuse to write down negatively about COVID-19 vaccines.

Much more irresponsibly, the paper amplifies each occasion of an individual dying quickly after getting the vaccine, as if folks don’t die mysteriously on a regular basis, vaccine or not. Solely later does the NYP add a follow-up story revealing that—whoopsie daisy!—the demise had nothing to do with the vaccine.

It might be alarming for any main newspaper to unfold such deceptive details about COVID-19 vaccines, however the New York Post is a blatantly right-leaning paper at a time when polls present as many as 45% of Republicans claiming they are going to by no means get vaccinated.

There’s a skinny line between partisan sensationalism and a journalistic well being hazard, and NYP seems to be jabbing a needle proper by way of it.