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Trust Index: Fact-checking claims about at-home COVID-19 tests & vaccine-related injuries

We’re putting two claims through the News4JAX Trust Index — both related to the COVID-19 pandemic. One is a social media claim about where you put the swab when you’re taking an at-home COVID test and the other is related to reports of vaccine-related injuries.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – We’re putting two claims through the News4JAX Trust Index — both related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One is a social media claim about where you put the swab when you’re taking an at-home COVID test and the other is related to reports of vaccine-related injuries.

Are at-home test kits more accurate when you swab your throat?

Will swabbing your throat be more accurate than swabbing your nose when you’re using an at-home COVID test kit? It’s an assertion that several TikTok users are making on the social media platform.

While medical experts say the omicron variant is more likely to infect the throat rather than the lungs, Dr. Chirag Patel, with UF Health Jacksonville, says swabbing your throat can sometimes lead to false results.

“It’s not just about where the most virus is, it’s about that test medium that they’re using is designed to work when you take the swab a certain way. You run the risk of contaminating that swab if you do it in the back of your throat,” Patel said.

Patel says that if the home test kit specifically asks you to swab the back of your throat, then do so, but the general rule is to follow the instructions provided to you by the test manufacturer.

So the claim that at-home COVID-19 test kits are more accurate when you swab your throat, the News4JAX Trust Index team rates this statement as “Be Careful.”

Be Careful

After reviewing this topic, we've found some issues - Be Careful.

What is the Trust Index?

Have 1 million COVID-19 vaccine injuries been reported?

The second claim The News4JAX Trust Index team is fact-checking comes from an article on the website WorldNetDaily where the headline states: “1 Million Covid Vaccine Injuries now reported on CDC’s database.”

The article references the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, commonly known as VAERS, which is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The article claims the system has recorded more than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine-related adverse events.

A quick search of the CDC’s official website reveals:

“VAERS accepts and analyzes reports of possible health problems—also called “adverse events”—after vaccination. As an early warning system, VAERS cannot prove that a vaccine caused a problem. Specifically, a report to VAERS does not mean that a vaccine caused an adverse event. But VAERS can give CDC and FDA important information. If it looks as though a vaccine might be causing a problem, FDA and CDC will investigate further and take action if needed.

“Anyone can submit a report to VAERS — healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the general public. VAERS welcomes all reports, regardless of seriousness, and regardless of how likely the vaccine may have been to have caused the adverse event.”

Patel says the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been proven scientifically that they are safe.

“The last thing that we want to be doing in health care is giving people something that is going to hurt them more than it is going to help them. What we’ve seen from Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine is that they are overwhelmingly safe,” Patel said.

So the News4JAX Trust Index team rates that claim that 1 million COVID-19 vaccine injuries are now reported as “Be Careful.”

As the CDC says, its database includes a variety of reports, regardless of how likely it was that the vaccine caused the issue.

Be Careful

After reviewing this topic, we've found some issues - Be Careful.

What is the Trust Index?


About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.