“Experienced Pathologist confirms COVID Vaccination causes giant Blood Clots, Cancer & Infertility,” says the headline of a February 6, 2023 article from The Expose, a website that AFP has previously fact-checked for spreading inaccurate health information.

The claims circulated elsewhere on Twitter and Facebook, including in other languages.

Screenshot of a tweet taken February 10, 2023

But the article misleads on vaccination risks — and it uses an image from a medical case that predates the coronavirus pandemic.

reverse image search indicates the photo was first submitted to The New England Journal of Medicine in 2018.

This screenshot taken February 10, 2023 shows an image of a blood clot published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018

The picture depicts a blood clot that a 36-year-old man coughed up after he was “admitted to the intensive care unit with an acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure,” according to the peer-reviewed journal.

After the placement of a ventricular assist device — a pump to support heart function — “hemoptysis developed, and he expectorated a cast of the right bronchial tree,” doctors Gavitt Woodard and Georg Wieselthaler said in the journal.

“Hemoptysis is the medical term for coughing up blood. The image is of a blood clot,” Woodard, an assistant professor of surgery at the Yale School of Medicine, told AFP in a February 9 email.

She added: “This photo was taken in 2018. It has no relationship to Covid at all.”

Baseless vaccine claims

The article makes additional unsupported claims about Covid-19 vaccines, including purported links to cancer and fertility issues.

AFP has previously debunked allegations that the shots have been linked to cancer — including claims from dermatopathologist Ryan Cole, who is featured in The Expose’s article.

Covid-19 vaccines have undergone extensive safety monitoring. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City “strongly” recommends vaccination to patients with cancer.

“None of the vaccines interact with or alter your DNA in any way, and therefore cannot cause cancer,” the institution says on its website.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there is no evidence that “any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines” cause fertility issues. AFP has previously debunked claims asserting otherwise.

The CDC says on its website that it is monitoring rare “adverse events of interest” reported after Covid-19 vaccination — including thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), which causes blood clotting. The condition has occurred in approximately four cases per one million doses of Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine.

But the US health agency told AFP in a February 10 email that it has detected “no unusual or unexpected patterns of cancer, infertility or blood clots, other than TTS following J&J Janssen Covid-19 vaccine, that would indicate Covid-19 vaccine are causing or contributing to these conditions.”

More of AFP’s reporting on vaccine misinformation is available here.


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