Amy Schumer targeted by false vaccine injury claims

  • Published on February 23, 2024 at 19:29
  • 3 min read
  • By AFP USA
A headline shared across social media claims US comedian Amy Schumer developed "VAIDS," or "vaccine-acquired immune deficiency syndrome," after receiving Covid-19 booster shots. This is false; there is no such condition, and the actor has publicly described her experience with the chronic disease endometriosis.

"Amy Schumer has revealed that she developed full-blown Vaccine Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (VAIDS) as a direct result of getting multiple COVID jabs," says a February 16, 2024 article from The People's Voice, a website AFP has fact-checked numerous times for spreading misinformation.

The story features photographs of Schumer in a hospital gown.

Screenshot of The People''s Voice website taken February 23, 2024

Other instances of the claim have appeared on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter.

Schumer's recent television appearances to promote the new season of her Hulu show "Life & Beth" have contributed to speculation about her health.

But experts have repeatedly said VAIDS -- a made-up term referring to Covid-19 vaccines' supposed effect on the immune system -- does not exist. 

"There is no VAIDS," Rachel Roper, professor of microbiology and immunology at East Carolina University, previously told AFP. "All data worldwide show that Covid vaccines save lives and do not increase deaths."

Pablo Penaloza-MacMaster, an assistant professor of microbiology-immunology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, told AFP in December 2021 that the shots "do not cause immunosuppression."


Schumer, known for her work in movies, television and stand-up comedy, responded to online comments about her appearance in a February 15, 2024 Instagram post promoting "Life & Beth" (archived here).

"Thank you so much for everyone’s input about my face!" she said. "I've enjoyed feedback and deliberation about my appearance as all women do for almost 20 years. And you’re right it is puffier than normal right now. I have endometriosis an auto immune disease that every woman should read about."

Endometriosis is a chronic disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, according to the World Health Organization (archived here).

The public health agency says the condition is associated with "severe, life-impacting pain during periods, sexual intercourse, bowel movements and/or urination, chronic pelvic pain, abdominal bloating, nausea, fatigue, and sometimes depression, anxiety, and infertility."

The images in The People's Voice article stem from a September 18, 2021 Instagram post from Schumer (archived here).

"If you have really painful periods you may have #endometriosis," the caption says.

Screenshot of Amy Schumer''s Instagram post taken February 23, 2024
Screenshot of Amy Schumer''s Instagram post taken February 23, 2024

AFP has debunked other claims about Covid-19 and vaccines here and here.

Is there content that you would like AFP to fact-check? Get in touch.

Contact us