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WebQoof Recap: Misinformation Around Covishield Vaccine and Lok Sabha Elections

Here are the popular pieces of misinformation that we debunked this week.

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From misleading claims around the Covishield vaccine for the COVID-19 virus to false posts related to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections here are the top pieces of misinformation we fact-checked this week.

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1. Media Outlets Misreport on AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine's Risks of TTS as 'New'

AstraZeneca is facing a lawsuit for allegedly causing deaths and health effects due to its vaccine, revealed to the court that its vaccine "can, in very rare cases, cause TTS (Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia Syndrome)."

  • After the recent controversy about the AstraZeneca vaccine, social media users and media outlets shared this to claim that the company admitted the vaccine's side effects publicly for the very "first time".

  • Several individuals also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party for backing and advocating for Covishield.

  • The claim also stated that Adar Poonawala's Serum Institute contributed Rs 52 crore to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) through electoral bonds.

Both of these accounts included in these claims are false and misleading to inject a political slant into a primarily scientific data.

  • The details regarding the adverse effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine, such as TTS, are not recent.

  • In 2021, AstraZeneca's packaging insert contained information about all the potential risks associated with the vaccine, in addition to details about the vaccine supplies.

  • Furthermore, this information has been available to the public since 2021 through research papers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) published a visual on 8 April 2021 illustrating the comparative risk of COVID-19 vaccines in relation to other potential risks.

Read the full fact-check here.

2. Fact-Check: Were These Fake Fingers Used for Voting Fraud in West Bengal? No!

A collection of images showing artificial prosthetic fingers of various dimensions is circulating on social media during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

  • The images are accompanied by English text that claims, "To give duplicate votes natural looking finger covers are being made for distribution in West Bengal. How far can they go to dupe the system?"

Here are the popular pieces of misinformation that we debunked this week.

An archived version of this post can be seen here.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

The images have been circulating on the internet since 2013 and are unrelated to the Lok Sabha elections.

  • They show artificial fingers created for former gang (yakuza) members in Japan who have lost fingers as a result of their occupation.

Read our fact-check here.

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3. Edited Image of Manipulated India Today Poll in Uttar Pradesh Goes Viral as Real

A viral image displaying the purported findings of news outlet, India Today's 'Mood of the Nation' survey regarding the current 2024 Lok Sabha elections is being shared on social media platforms.

  • The claim states that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was expected to win fewer seats in Uttar Pradesh compared to 2019.

  • The claim also indicated that the Apna Dal party would secure two seats, Congress would have five seats, Samajwadi Party (SP) would secure 17 seats, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) would have three seats, and others would secure one seat.

This viral image is edited to show the BJP securing fewer seats in Uttar Pradesh than in 2019.

  • In the original video shared by India Today, the findings showed BJP securing 70 seats in the state.

Read our story here.

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4. Did HM Amit Shah Say BJP Will End SC/ST Reservations if Voted to Power? No!

A viral video of Union Home Minister Amit Shah is being circulated with the claim that he stated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would terminate reservations for the members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, if elected to power.

Here are the popular pieces of misinformation that we debunked this week.

An archive of the post can be found here.

(Source: X (formerly Twitter)/Screenshot)

No, the claim is false as the video is old and has been altered to mislead the audience.

  • In the original version, Shah mentioned the termination of Muslim reservations if the BJP gains power in Telangana.

Read our fact-check here.

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5. No, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury Isn't Speaking in Favour of BJP in West Bengal

A video showing West Bengal Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is circulating widely on social media. In the video, he is heard speaking in Bengali, questioning why people should vote for Trinamool Congress (TMC) and suggesting that it would be better to vote for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

  • The claim was shared by BJP IT Cell Head, Amit Malviya. Even Trinamool Congress's Saket Gokhale shared it.

Here are the popular pieces of misinformation that we debunked this week.

An archive can be seen here.

(Source: X/Screenshot)

This is a slipped video. Chowdhury was giving this speech to support Congress candidate Murtaza Hossain Bakul in Lalgola, West Bengal.

  • In the longer version of the video, Chowdhury continues to say, "Neither vote for TMC, nor for BJP - all year round."

Read the full story here.

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(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9540511818 , or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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