Fact check: Canada's chief public health officer did not get Bell's palsy from COVID-19 vaccine

The claim: Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has developed Bell’s palsy from a COVID-19 vaccine

Social media users are sharing an image that falsely claims one of Canada’s top health officials is experiencing serious side effects from the coronavirus vaccine.

The viral screenshotted tweet compares two photos of Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam. Both photos show Tam speaking, but in the right photo one side of her face appears to droop unevenly.

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

It reads, “It is going to be hard to propagandize the vaccine hesitant with such an obvious vaccine adverse event occurring in the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam. Yes. Most certainly Bell’s Palsy… and clearly a recent development.”

Fact check: Bell’s palsy among COVID-19 trial participants likely unrelated to Pfizer vaccine

Bell’s palsy is a nerve condition that causes facial muscles to suddenly become weak or paralyzed. The condition is common among people with diabetes, influenza, colds and other conditions. It is rarely permanent and usually goes away within 6 months.

One Sept. 27 Facebook post with the image garnered 43 shares on its first day. 

The same image and attached falsehood have spread on Twitter. On Sept. 11 one user replied to one of Tam’s tweets with the photo comparison. 

However, Tam has not developed Bell’s palsy or any other adverse vaccine side effects. The photo is a misleading screengrab from a COVID-19 press event. 

USA TODAY reached out to several posters for comment. The Twitter user that authored the screenshotted tweet could not be messaged.

Agency says Tam has not experienced any adverse events

Anna Maddison, a spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada, told USA TODAY Tam did not develop Bell’s palsy from the vaccine or anything else.

“Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, was fully vaccinated by late June 2021 and experienced no adverse events following either of her vaccine doses,” she said. “She did not develop and has never had Bell’s palsy.” 

Maddison confirmed the unusual image of Tam was taken from a video of a Sept. 3 press event. She said the distortion was caused by a “digital malfunction.”

The full video shows Tam’s face was moving and did not have any visible abnormalities.

During the press conference, Tam updated viewers on the latest epidemiological modeling and urged young Canadians to get the shot. 

Fact check: False claim that cancer has spiked as a result of COVID-19 vaccines

“This is a crucial moment. We have a window of opportunity to rapidly accelerate vaccine uptake and close the protection gap in younger age groups with the lowest vaccine coverage,” she said. 

Experts say Bell’s palsy fears shouldn’t deter vaccinations

Health experts have discussed a possible link between COVID-19 vaccinations and Bell’s palsy, but the correlation is contentious and all agree should not deter vaccinations. 

The Food and Drug Administration has considered a possible tie between vaccines and Bell’s palsy, since such cases occurred during clinical trials. But the frequency of Bell’s palsy in trials was not “more than the rate expected in the general population,” the CDC explained.

In August Reuters reported that one study found those who received the Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine had an increased risk of developing Bell’s palsy. The researchers for the study, which was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, stressed the risk should not deter vaccinations. 

Fact check: Inhaling hydrogen peroxide for COVID-19 is dangerous, experts warn

“The beneficial and protective effects of the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of this generally self-limiting adverse event,” the study concluded. 

The Sinovac vaccine is not yet approved in Canada or in the United States.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Tam has developed Bell’s palsy from a COVID-19 vaccine. A spokesperson for the Public Health Agency of Canada told USA TODAY that Tam has not experienced Bell’s palsy or any other adverse side effects as a result of the COVID-19 vaccine. An image of Tam’s slightly drooping face is the result of a digital malfunction and video screengrab. Tam, who received her vaccination months ago, continues to advise eligible and unvaccinated Canadians to get the shot.

Our fact-check sources:

  • John Hopkins Medicine, accessed Sept. 22, Bell’s Palsy
  • Anna Maddison, Sept. 22, Email correspondence with USA TODAY
  • Dr. Theresa Tam, April 13, Tweet
  • CPAC via Twitter, accessed Sept. 22, Federal officials release updated COVID-19 modelling / Prévisions fédérales actualisées relatives à la COVID-19
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sept. 27, COVID-19 Vaccines for People with Underlying Medical Conditions
  • Reuters, Aug. 17, Higher risk of Bell’s Palsy after Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine – study
  • Government of Canada, accessed Sept. 22, Approved COVID-19 Vaccines
  • Food and Drug Administration, accessed Sept. 22, COVID-19 Vaccines

Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print edition, ad-free app or electronic newspaper replica here.

Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

White flags that are part of artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s “In America: Remember,” a temporary art installation to commemorate Americans who have died of COVID-19, stand on the National Mall in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. Visitors walk past artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s “In America: Remember,” a temporary art installation made up of white flags to commemorate Americans who have died of COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. Visitors sit among white flags that are part of artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s “In America: Remember,” a temporary art installation to commemorate Americans who have died of COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. A message marks a white flag that is part of artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s “In America: Remember,” a temporary art installation to commemorate Americans who have died of COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. People visit artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s “In America: Remember,” a temporary art installation made up of white flags to commemorate Americans who have died of COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. White flags are seen on the National Mall near the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on Sept. 19, 2021. The project, by artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, uses over 600,00 miniature white flags to symbolize the lives lost to COVID-19 in the US. A mother talks to her son in a field of white flags on the Mall near the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on Sept. 18, 2021. The project, by artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, uses over 600,00 miniature white flags to symbolize the lives lost to COVID-19 in the US. A message is seen on a white flag on the National Mall near the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on Sept. 18, 2021. People sit on a bench in a field of white flags on the Mall near the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on Sept. 18, 2021. Seen from atop the Washington Monument, people walk through the flags of the ‘In America: Remember’ public art installation near the Washington Monument on Sept. 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. A man sits on a bench as he looks at white flags on the National Mall near the Washington Monument in Washington, DC on Sept. 18, 2021. People walk through the flags of the ‘In America: Remember’ public art installation near the Washington Monument on Sept. 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. The installation commemorates all the Americans who have died due to COVID-19. It’s based on a concept by artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, and includes more than 600,000 small plastic flags, some with personal messages to those who have died, planted in 20 acres of the National Mall. Artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg plants new white flags at ‘In America: Remember’ public art installation near the Washington Monument on September 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. The installation commemorates all the Americans who have died due to COVID-19. Flags are placed in the ground as part of ‘In America: Remember,’ a public art installation commemorating all the Americans who have died due to COVID-19 near the Washington Monument on September 18, 2021 in Washington, DC.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Canada’s chief public health officer did not get Bell’s palsy from COVID-19 vaccine

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

The Friends Cast Pays Tribute to James Michael Tyler Following His Passing

© NBC/Courtesy Everett Collection James Michael Tyler, best known for playing Gunther on the iconic sitcom Friends, passed away Sunday, October 24, following a battle with prostate cancer. He was ... Read more »

Enter to win a Nintendo Switch OLED in the October Underscored Faves Sweepstakes

We get to test hundreds of products here at CNN Underscored, from dry shampoos and smart displays to bath towels and robes. And now we want to share our favorite ... Read more »

PRK vs. LASIK: Which Eye Procedure Should You Get?

What are PRK and LASIK? You may never have to decipher another glasses or contacts prescription if you opt for PRK or LASIK surgery. According to the American Academy of ... Read more »

Russia Says Climate Change Is a Big Priority. But Its Real Goal at COP 26 Will Be Slowing Down Progress

When a Kremlin spokesperson announced last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be attending the U.N. COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow in person, he wanted to make ... Read more »

Blondo's Weatherproof Boots Are the Shoe I Pack on Every Winter Vacation

© Condé Nast Traveler When it comes to winter footwear, there’s always the same dilemma: you want to wear your cutest boots, but you don’t want to ruin your cutest ... Read more »

Sourdough Cider Doughnuts Put Everyone in the Fall Spirit

The Perfect Loaf is a column from software engineer turned bread expert (and Food52’s Resident Bread Baker) Maurizio Leo. Maurizio is here to show us all things naturally leavened, enriched, ... Read more »

Man dies as Mediterranean hurricane batters southern Italy

PALERMO, Sicily, Oct 25 (Reuters) – Fierce storms battered southern Italy for a second day on Monday, killing at least one person, triggering landslides and leaving roads and fields flooded, ... Read more »

Three Things We Learned Week 2 of the 2021-22 NHL Season

The Chicago Blackhawks are having as bad of a start as a team can have, Connor McDavid is taking another step and the Red Wings rookies are a bright spot ... Read more »

Q&A: Mark Messier on a Vancouver do-over, pressure to win with Oilers, Rangers

When Mark Messier finally decided to write a book, he did not want it to be your typical autobiography. After reading books by NBA Hall of Fame coaches Phil Jackson ... Read more »

Neil Patrick Harris Celebrates 1,000th Instagram Post as His Twins Tease Him for Social Media Use

© Provided by People NEil Patrick Harris/Instagram Neil Patrick Harris has reached 1,000 posts on Instagram — but not everyone is impressed. On Saturday, the How I Met Your Mother ... Read more »

Report: Jets QB Zach Wilson suffers 'best-case scenario' of sprained PCL, out 2-4 weeks

An MRI confirmed New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a sprained PCL in Sunday’s loss, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday.  An MRI confirmed a sprained PCL for Jets’ ... Read more »

5 simple habits that can keep heart diseases at bay

Many people are on a house-cleaning spree or busy renovating their homes ahead of Diwali. Just like you don’t neglect your house cleaning and make every effort to improve its ... Read more »

Follow these Ayurvedic tips to take proper care of your eyes

© Provided by The Indian Express Ever since the pandemic began, most people have been working or studying from home, spending a significant amount of time in front of screens. ... Read more »

Sleeping Less Than 7 Hours May Affect Your Brain and Immunity, Say Scientists

© Provided by News18 Sleeping Less Than 7 Hours May Affect Your Brain and Immunity, Say Scientists We may go above and beyond to maintain our health by following strict ... Read more »

This Multi-Purpose Jojoba Oil Is My Go-To Winter Moisturizer—and Amazon Shoppers Agree

Now that winter is approaching, it’s time to adjust your skincare routine accordingly. For many people, that means switching to a heavier moisturizer to combat dry skin. If you’re in ... Read more »

Facebook missed weeks of warning signs over Capitol attack, documents suggest

As extremist supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol on 6 January, battling police and forcing lawmakers into hiding, an insurrection of a different kind was taking place inside ... Read more »

Latest climate plans don't dent emissions: UN assessment

The latest round of national emissions cutting plans submitted under the Paris Agreement will make no material dent in short-term carbon pollution levels and still put Earth on course to ... Read more »

Keep Your Shower Product Arsenal—Shampoos, Loofahs, and All—Tidy with These Helpful Organizers

© Provided by Martha Stewart Living Courtesy of West Elm Cleaning and organizing your bathroom isn’t the most enjoyable task on your household to-do list, but the right storage set-up ... Read more »

Tesla Decided The Software It Was Testing Around You Wasn't Safe

Ah, the joys of Tesla’s “public beta” of 4,000-pound cars careening around city streets with software that even Elon Musk says has “some issues.” That and more in The Morning Shift ... Read more »

Kids ages 3 and up to get COVID vaccine in China

Some parts of China will require children between the ages of 3 and 11 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to announcements from local officials. China to this point has ... Read more »

Deshaun Watson trade rumors: Latest news, updates on Dolphins, Panthers, Eagles before 2021 NFL deadline

The Deshaun Watson watch is on. Again. The Texans quarterback requested a trade during the offseason, but none came to pass; Soon after Watson’s January trade request, sexual assault allegations ... Read more »

Report: Jets QB Zach Wilson suffers sprained PCL, out 2-4 weeks

An MRI confirmed New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a sprained PCL in Sunday’s loss, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Monday.  An MRI confirmed a sprained PCL for Jets’ ... Read more »

Bill Belichick: Mac Jones has gotten better each week

© Provided by NBC Sports Sunday’s rout of the Jets pushed the Patriots to 3-4 on the season and it featured a pair of firsts for rookie quarterback Mac Jones. ... Read more »

California storm breaks records as another storm threatens 70 million Americans in the eastern US

After the West Coast got walloped by record-setting rainfall and dangerous mudslides — with more heavy rain in store today — 70 million Americans in the eastern US are now ... Read more »

West Belfast Restaurant Week: Businesses launch dozens of special offers on food and drink

As the hospitality and tourism industry begins to build back after restrictions, businesses are doing their best to encourage customers through their doors. Taking inspiration from Belfast Restaurant Week, Monday ... Read more »

Jeff Bezos reportedly not interested in becoming next Denver Broncos owner

If the NFL was hoping billionaire Jeff Bezos would become the Denver Broncos owner, the league might have to look elsewhere for someone to buy the Broncos in 2022. © ... Read more »

Protest Over 'Unsettling' Antisemitic 'Vax the Jews' Banner Hung on Texas Bridge

An antisemitic sign reading “Vax The Jews” has been placed close to West Austin’s Shalom Austin Jewish Community Center, triggering a social media backlash. © Orjan F. Ellingvag/Corbi/Getty Images Stock ... Read more »

Zach Ertz: We have a lot of talent, I've never seen so much green grass in the middle of the field

© Provided by NBC Sports Tight end Zach Ertz had a memorable debut with the Cardinals on Sunday. Ertz caught a 47-yard touchdown from Kyler Murray in the 31-5 win ... Read more »

The Senate is setting a dangerous precedent with Iron Dome funding

Five months ago, President Biden committed to helping to replace Iron Dome interceptors Israel expended to protect civilians from rockets the Iran-backed terrorist group Hamas fired from Gaza during last ... Read more »

How Alec Baldwin's deadly prop-gun shooting on the 'Rust' set unfolded, according to witnesses

© Jae C. Hong/AP Photo This aerial photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, N.M., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun on the ... Read more »

Apple MacBook Pro M1 Pro 14-inch review: A portable, professional powerhouse

From a distance, the new 14-inch MacBook Pro looks a lot like the 13-inch MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro you might already be using. Look again and the differences ... Read more »

Biden should borrow one thing from Trump

ANALYSIS — “I’ve instructed the military, whatever they need — if they need additional force — I will grant it.” © Provided by Roll Call Joe Biden is famously loyal, ... Read more »

Type 2 diabetes: The reason you should AVOID fruit juice or risk increasing chance of disease

MILLIONS of people are at risk of type 2 diabetes – a serious condition that needs lifelong management. While some risk factors can’t be changed, such as age and ethnicity, ... Read more »

Ed Sheeran Tests Positive for COVID-19 — Will He Still Perform on ‘SNL'?

© Provided by US Weekly Ed Sheeran Tests Positive COVID 19 Will He Still Perform SNL Ed Sheeran announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, October 24 ... Read more »

Democrats descend on churches in Virginia in Souls to the Polls campaign urging parishioners to vote for Terry McAuliffe

Democratic leaders are targeting church goers to get out the vote, endorsing Democratic incumbent Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is slightly behind in the polls for the first time after making ... Read more »

Fox Weather officially launches

Fox News Media officially launched its streaming service Fox Weather on Monday morning. © Photo courtesy Fox News Media Fox Weather officially launches The service is Fox News’ eighth platform ... Read more »

Shin Megami Tensei V feels like catching up with an old friend – hands-on impressions preview

The long wait is nearly over. Five years after Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, we are finally getting a new SMT game: Shin Megami Tensei V. To say I’m a ... Read more »

The one reason why Donald Trump is guaranteed to run for president

© Provided by Salon Donald Trump US President Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally at Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon Township, Pennsylvania on September 22, 2020. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via ... Read more »

Is Halo Infinite open world?

© Provided by GamePur Halo Infinite’s campaign has been an enigma for quite some time, with the game’s multiplayer being the primary showcase for several months leading up to the ... Read more »

Bon Iver To Perform At Forest Hills Stadium Next Summer

FOREST HILLS, QUEENS — The only New York City venue on Bon Iver’s upcoming summer tour is Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, the group announced on Monday. © Kevin Winter ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic