Covid vaccine fact file – bogus claims and side effects

Date published: 01 September 2021

At the heart of many “anti-vaxxer” arguments is the belief that Covid is a hoax – that very different Governments from around the world have somehow managed to unite behind a grand conspiracy, that tens of thousands of health care workers have joined in, along with Government officials and countless media organisations - and they’ve all managed to keep the plotting secret.

Many bogus theories about vaccination also continue to circulate.

These include claims about Yellow Card reports of Covid vaccine side effects. This is ironic – the Yellow Card reporting system is an official process of the MHRA, the official UK regulatory body for medicines and vaccines. So the very people who claim the authorities are perpetuating a massive cover-up and hoax are also citing material published by one of those authorities.

More information on the Yellow Card system can be found here:

The Yellow Card system involves suspected, not confirmed, reactions. These can be reported by members of the public as well as health professionals.

As the MHRA states: “The nature of Yellow Card reporting means that reported events are not always proven side effects. Some events may have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination. This is particularly the case when millions of people are vaccinated, and especially when most vaccines are being given to the most elderly people and people who have underlying illness.”

The MHRA also states: “For all COVID-19 vaccines, the overwhelming majority of reports relate to injection-site reactions (sore arm for example) and generalised symptoms such as ‘flu-like’ illness, headache, chills, fatigue (tiredness), nausea (feeling sick), fever, dizziness, weakness, aching muscles, and rapid heartbeat. Generally, these happen shortly after the vaccination and are not associated with more serious or lasting illness.”

When it comes to rare cases of severe reactions to vaccines, the MHRA advice is clear – for the vast majority of people the threat from Covid is much greater than any vaccine side effect. This is about balancing the small risk from side effects against the much greater benefits of protection from the virus.

As the MHRA states: “Vaccines are the best way to protect people from COVID-19 and have already saved thousands of lives.”

It’s your decision whether or not to get the jab. Please make an informed choice, based on information from trusted sources.

Countless other spurious claims continue to circulate – unsupported by evidence.

The reality is that the Covid-19 vaccines don’t change your DNA, or make you magnetic, or let billionaires implant microchips in you. They don’t contain foetal cells.  They don’t have any effect on fertility.

Useful links

For further information, including on vaccine safety and the contents of vaccines, see the PHA’s extensive Q&A

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme questions and answers | HSC Public Health Agency (

Vaccine safety


Vaccination is recommended in pregnancy.


There is absolutely no evidence, and no theoretical reason, that any of the vaccines can affect the fertility of women or men.


No COVID-19 vaccine contains cells from aborted foetuses:


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