Health Highlights: Feb. 10, 2021


Facebook Targets New COVID-19 Vaccine Falsehoods

Facebook says it will ban new lies about COVID-19 vaccines that are circulating on the social network, such as falsehoods that the shots are ineffective, toxic, dangerous or cause autism.

All such claims have been debunked for both COVID-19 shots and all types of vaccines, the Associated Press reported.

Facebook previously banned a number of related lies, including: vaccines don’t actually exist, vaccines cause infertility, vaccines contain tracking microchips; and masks are ineffective.

But it’s not clear if the new ban will be more effective than the company’s previous efforts to halt such misinformation.

“Millions of people are being fed dangerous lies which lead them to doubt government guidance on COVID and on vaccines, prolonging the pandemic,” Imran Ahmed, CEO of the watchdog group Center for Countering Digital Hate, told the AP.

Fossil Fuel Air Pollution Killed Nearly 9 Million People in 2018: Study

Fossil fuel air pollution caused 8.7 million deaths worldwide in 2018, an annual toll that’s nearly twice as high as previous estimates, according to a new study.

It said that breathing in particulate matter emitted by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal accounted for nearly 1 in 5 global deaths that year, CBS News reported.

The study was published Feb. 9 in the journal Environmental Research.

Regions with the highest levels of fossil-fuel pollution had the highest death rates. They included eastern North America, Europe and Southeast Asia, which includes China and India, CBS News reported.

“Our study adds to the mounting evidence that air pollution from ongoing dependence on fossil fuels is detrimental to global health,” study co-author Eloise Marais said in statement.

“We can’t in good conscience continue to rely on fossil fuels, when we know that there are such severe effects on health and viable, cleaner alternatives.”

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