The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is failing to provide proper context in a “quiz” testing an individual’s coronavirus vaccine knowledge, asserting that young, healthy people must get the vaccine, presenting vaccines as recommended for pregnant women, and contending that the long-term side effects of the coronavirus vaccines, none of which have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are “uncommon,” despite the fact that the question remains largely unknown.
On Monday, the CDC shared its coronavirus quiz on social media, encouraging Americans to take it and discover “how much you know about COVID-19 vaccines”:
— CDC (@CDCgov) August 2, 2021
The quiz contains ten questions, all of which are true or false. The first true/false statement reads, “You don’t need a COVID-19 vaccine if you’re young and healthy.”
According to the federal health agency, “true” is incorrect.
“Getting vaccinated can protect you from getting COVID-19. Even young and healthy people who get COVID-19 are at risk of health problems such as losing sense of smell for many months,” the CDC states, failing to mention its own data from September, showing the virus to have a survival rate between 99.5 percent and 99.997 percent for those ages 69 and younger.
The second true/false statement reads, “Everyone in the U.S. can get a COVID-19 vaccine for free.” The CDC claims that statement is “true.”
“The vaccines are free for everyone in the U.S. regardless of whether you have health insurance, citizenship, or identification,” the CDC answers, despite the fact that vaccines are technically not available to those under the age of 12.
The quiz also devotes a question to the long-term side effects of the vaccine, presenting the true or false statement: “Long-term side effects of COVID-19 vaccines are common.”
Even though the vaccines were developed swiftly with the help of Operation Warp Speed and have not been approved by the FDA, the CDC says long-term side effects are “extremely unlikely.”
“Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unlikely following any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines,” the federal health agency claims, citing “years of research and vaccine safety monitoring on other vaccines” which “show that side effects almost always happen within 6 weeks of getting a vaccine.” However, the CDC fails to explain in detail how it can state that long-term side effects are “extremely unlikely.”
“I’m not going to be forced to take an experimental vaccine that potentially could injure me or kill me,” Jane Nymberg, a long-time nurse who has worked at Atrium Health, which recently announced vaccine mandates for employees, said over the weekend as she and others protested the action in Charlotte, North Carolina, over the weekend.
“The chances of that are low. But if it happens, I will be responsible,” she added.
“I think it’s wrong to mandate that our nurses have to take an experimental vaccine,” another protester said.
The CDC quiz also suggested that officials are recommending pregnant women, which the federal health agency referred to as “pregnant people,” to get the vaccine.
“COVID-19 vaccines aren’t recommended for pregnant people,” the true/false statement reads.
If the user chooses “false,” the quiz marks it as incorrect and provides the following answer.
“If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Pregnant people are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, so getting a vaccine can protect pregnant people from complications that could affect them or their babies,” the CDC said, failing to address the concerns and lack of data around pregnant women receiving the vaccine. In fact, the CDC’s own guidance admits there is currently “limited data on the safety” of vaccines in pregnant women:
Based on how these vaccines work in the body, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a risk for people who are pregnant. However, there are currently limited data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people.
The final true/false statement reads, “COVID-19 vaccines can affect your DNA.”
False, the agency says, stating the “materials in COVID-19 vaccines never enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where DNA is located.”
“Therefore, they do not interact with your DNA or change it in any way,” it adds.
The quiz, however, does not explain how mRNA vaccines differ from traditional vaccines, interacting with cells and triggering them to create a “protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies.”
The CDC has continued to walk hand-in-hand with the Biden administration’s goal to get as many Americans vaccinated as possible, urging vaccinated people to talk to their unvaccinated friends and family members and “help make their vaccination happen.”