Fake US CDC graphic about 'vaccine refusal' circulates online

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

An infographic that carries the logo of the US Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) warns refusing the coronavirus vaccine "is a form of racism" because it "harms people of color”.  The graphic, however, has been manipulated: it was not issued by the CDC.

The graphic was shared in a tweet posted here on April 23, 2021.

“FACT: Refusing to take the vaccine is a form of racism since it harms people of color,” it reads.

The CDC’s logo and website are included in the graphic.

The tweet's caption reads: “Critical race theory is a deadly virus….”

A screenshot of the misleading tweet as of April 29, 2021.

People from racial minority groups have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, according to the CDC

The graphic was also shared on Facebook here, here, and here

The graphic, however, has been manipulated.

Contacted by AFP, a CDC spokesperson said it did not create or issue the misleading graphic.

“We can confirm that the referenced graphic was not developed or posted by CDC,” the spokesperson said in an email on April 29, 2021.

A reverse image search on Google found this tweet posted by the CDC on April 7, 2021.

The graphic in the genuine CDC’s tweet reads: “You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection.”

It features the same illustration of a woman receiving a vaccine as in the doctored graphic, as well as the CDC logo and website.

“Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool to help stop the pandemic. More on how viral vector #COVID19 vaccines work,” the tweet reads.

A comparison between the misleading image shared on social media (L) and the genuine CDC graphic (R)