Social media users have been sharing an image online that claims the flu vaccine causes respiratory issues “including 4 strains of coronavirus” ( here ).
This claim is false.
Flu vaccines are derived from influenza viruses. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu shots (given with a needle) are made in two ways. The first is by using flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and are therefore are not infectious. The second is by using a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection. ( here )
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 is not an influenza virus. Coronaviruses are a different family of virus named after their crown-like shape. ( here )
The CDC says: "Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and now with the virus that causes COVID-19." ( here )
John Hopkins Medicine also notes on its website that COVID-19 is "caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2" while the flu is caused by several different strains of the influenza virus. ( here )
In short, it is not possible for COVID-19 to be caused by a vaccine derived from an unrelated flu virus. Scientists believe the novel coronavirus reached humans via animals.
False claim: The influenza vaccine does not cause COVID-19
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .
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