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VERIFY: What you can and can't believe when it comes to COVID and the vaccine

There is a lot of information about COVID and vaccines out there. Here's what you can believe.
Credit: KHOU
What can you believe about COVID and vaccines?

HOUSTON — When it comes to COVID and the vaccines produced to protect us from it, there is a lot of information out there. Our VERIFY team is hard at work, looking at this information and breaking down what you can believe and what you shouldn't. And if you have something you want us to VERIFY, email us at VERIFY@khou.com.  Here are the latest VERIFY reports on the pandemic.

Yes, the delta variant can be detected through genomic sequencing, but that's not the test you get at a clinic

Viral tests that are used to determine if a person has COVID-19 are not designed to tell you what variant is causing the infection.

Yes, there are treatments for children with COVID-19

Most children with COVID-19 don’t have severe symptoms that require hospital-administered treatments. For those that do, there are a few treatments.

No, you can't sue Pfizer or another manufacturer if you get a COVID-19 vaccine injury, but you can file for compensation

A person who experiences a serious injury after getting a COVID-19 vaccine could receive benefits under the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program.

No, President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers does not apply to members of Congress and their staff

The president cannot impose a vaccine mandate on Congress via executive order or in an agency or department regulation, according to the Congressional Institute.

No, masks do not increase carbon dioxide levels for children

Carbon dioxide molecules cannot be trapped by breathable materials like cloth or disposable masks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Yes, COVID-19 has caused more pediatric deaths than the flu in the last 18 months

KHOU 11 pulled data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and spoke to Dr. Michael Chang, an assistant professor of pediatrics at UTHealth Houston.

No, the CDC’s third dose recommendation does not include the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The CDC recommends an additional shot for some people who are immunocompromised and received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines – not the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Yes, it is possible to tell the difference between COVID-19 antibodies and vaccine antibodies

COVID-19 antibody tests look for antibodies in your blood that fight the virus that causes COVID-19.

Yes, minors need parental consent to get COVID-19 vaccine in Texas

Parental consent is required for the vaccination of children in this age group. Consent may be given verbally or in writing.

Yes, fans can be required to wear masks at sporting events

The return of the NFL is expected to bring packed crowds to stadiums across the country. Teams can require fans to wear masks, but policies vary.

Fact-checking misinformation after CDC updates mask guidance for COVID-19

The CDC continues to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the highly transmissible Delta variant spreads across the country. 

Yes, the World Health Organization is responsible for labeling COVID-19 variants using the Greek alphabet

In late 2020, variants of COVID-19 began to emerge across the world. This public health agency began labeling them using letters of the Greek alphabet in May 2021. 

Yes, the Delta variant is more contagious than standard COVID-19

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins, helps the VERIFY team separate fact from fiction.

No, President Biden didn’t order a door-to-door campaign to enforce COVID-19 vaccination, but there are plans to promote the vaccine

President Joe Biden has asked people to encourage unvaccinated Americans to get the vaccine, but he didn’t start a door-to-door push to force people to get the shot.

Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine can lead to a false-positive mammogram

Swollen lymph nodes are a natural reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine. Experts say people should still get vaccinated and not delay overdue mammogram appointments.

No, there isn’t a government training program designed to mass quarantine unvaccinated people

A video of a woman claiming she and her son would be taken and put into quarantine because they have not received the COVID-19 vaccine has gone viral. It’s false.

No, NFL teams aren’t currently requiring fans to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend games

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expects all stadiums to have full capacity this upcoming season.

Yes, the Houston Health Department is sending emails requesting updated vaccination information

The surveys may come via email or text message

Yes, a fully vaccinated person exposed to the Delta variant could transmit COVID-19 to others

The World Health Organization is urging people to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing as the Delta variant spreads across the globe.

No, studies do not show the COVID-19 vaccine causes fertility issues in men

Online users have posted that the COVID-19 vaccine could cause sterility in men, despite a recent study stating there isn’t evidence to support the claims.

No, there is no evidence the COVID-19 vaccine spike protein is ‘cytotoxic’

Social media posts have claimed the spike protein the body creates after receiving an mRNA vaccine kills cells. Experts say there is no evidence of that.

No, you don’t have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to fly in the US

While the CDC recommends people delay travel until they’re vaccinated, vaccines are not a requirement for flying domestically.

No, antibody tests can't prove if you’re protected by the COVID-19 vaccines

Antibody tests are back in the spotlight — this time related to vaccine protection.

Yes, swimming is safe for kids during the COVID-19 pandemic, but crowded pools could be risky

As more pools reopen this year, people have had questions about the safety risks of going to a pool amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

No, the COVID-19 vaccine can’t make people magnetic

Claims that the COVID-19 vaccine is causing people to become magnetic are still circulating, but they are false.

Yes, Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines have been tested in children

Lately, there have been a lot of claims about the vaccine's potential side effects. We had Dr. Amesh Adalja, a Senior Scholar and expert in infectious diseases, critical care and emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins, address those concerns.

Yes, there have been reports of heart inflammation in adolescents after COVID-19 vaccination, but cause not yet known

The CDC says there have been “relatively few reports of myocarditis,” mainly in adolescents and young adults. But the vaccines have not been identified as the cause.

No, COVID vaccines don't last only six months

With more and more people getting vaccinated, how long the vaccines last has been top of mind. Some say to expect protection for 6 months. Our experts say otherwise.

No, the COVID-19 vaccine does not cause herpes simplex

A study referred to in a New York Post article looks at six cases in Israel where people developed herpes zoster (or shingles) after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

No, evidence that COVID vaccine causes erectile dysfunction, cancer or infertility

We tackle more online rumors about the COVID vaccine.

Yes, kids 12 and up get the same COVID vaccine dose as adults

Pfizer and Moderna may modify the dosage for children younger than 12. The companies are still figuring out the right amount for each age group in clinical trials.