Fact Check Articles Of The Week

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Updated December 11, 2020
In this file photo taken on November 23, 2020 is pictured a bottle reading “Vaccine Covid-19” next to US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech logos on November 23, 2020.


AFP’s fact-check service debunks misinformation spread online. Here are some of our recent fact-checks:

1. COVID-19 vaccine does not cause female sterilization

A screenshot of an article has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which claims that the head of Pfizer Research has found that the company’s Covid-19 vaccine leads to female sterilization. This claim is false: medical experts have stated that there was no evidence of sterilization during the clinical trials. In addition, the researcher cited in the article left the American pharmaceutical company in 2011.

2. Pakistan soldiers defending border

A photo of three soldiers in a frozen river has been shared hundreds of times in Facebook posts that claim it shows Pakistani soldiers defending their border at the Siachen glacier near India. The claim is false. The photo is actually an 2015 Associated Press image that shows South Korean soldiers at a winter training exercise.

3. Maradona’s funeral

A video has been viewed hundreds of times in multiple Facebook and Instagram posts which claim it shows the funeral of football legend Diego Maradona, who died in November 2020. The claim is false: the video actually shows a presidential campaign rally in Argentine capital Buenos Aires for Marucio Macri, who ran for reelection in 2019.

4. Antiseptic card hoax

Hundreds of posts shared on Facebook claim that “antiseptic cards” can help prevent Covid-19 infections if hung around the neck. Medical experts have stated that there is no scientific evidence to substantiate claims that these cards protect the wearers from Covid-19 and have advised against wearing them. These cards contain chlorine oxide and can cause severe respiratory difficulties to the wearers.

5. Canadian e-visas for Nigerians

Multiple posts shared hundreds of times on Facebook claim that Canadian prime minister Justin Turdeau signed an executive order granting Nigerian professionals extended e-visas for a limited amount of time. This claim is false. The Nigerian High Commission has refuted these claims on their social media pages. The photos shared alongside the misleading posts appear to be from a signing ceremony.