Snopes 2021 Best of: 'I Did My Own Research'

Usually code for "I cherry-picked vaccine stats to confirm what I already believe."

Published Dec. 17, 2021

Digital generated image of Syringe with anti COVID-19 vaccine on purple background. (Getty Images)
Digital generated image of Syringe with anti COVID-19 vaccine on purple background. (Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Snopes staff members combed our 2021 archives to select fact checks or news stories that stood out to them — whether because they required robust reporting or were simply bizarre.

We grouped the selections by category, ranging from pieces that debunked scaremongering rumors about COVID vaccines to ones with "true" ratings that even surprised us.

This page shows the former: our staff's selection of pieces that exclusively addressed dubious claims about vaccinations in 2021 (in no particular order). All of our picks are listed by category here.

[Also, here are Snopes news stories that attracted the most web traffic in 2021, and here's a list of the year's most popular fact checks.]

Do COVID-19 Vaccines Make You Infertile?

False. We unpacked claims of impotency, placenta issues, and swollen testicles supposedly due to the inoculations.

Does This Chart Show When COVID-19 Variants Will Be ‘Released’?

False. If credible scientists faced an uphill challenge to try to predict COVID-19 mutations, it was unlikely this unsourced meme did it first.

What the ‘Choosing Your COVID-19 Vaccine’ Meme Gets Wrong

Mixture. A viral image makes a range of claims about vaccine manufacturers to try to discourage people from getting shots. We fact-checked each of them.

Does Ivermectin Cause Sterility in Men?

Unproven. One study purportedly found that 85% of men who were given the anti-parasitic were sterile following the research period.

Did 45K People Die Within 3 Days of Getting COVID Vaccine?

False. Allegations were said to have come from a “government insider.”

Did Breastfeeding Baby Die After Mother Received COVID-19 Vaccine Dose?

Unproven. Health experts do recommend the vaccine be given to breastfeeding parents.

‘Pfizermectin’? Is Pfizer’s New Drug Just Ivermectin in Disguise?

False. "Protease inhibitors" are a class of antiviral drugs that have been used to treat HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and possibly COVID-19.

Do Videos Show Magnets Sticking to People’s Arms After COVID-19 Vaccine?

False. A handful of viral clips attempted to further a conspiracy theory about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Is ‘Luciferase’ the Name for the COVID-19 Vaccine?

False. A meme shared widely in the spring of 2021 showed a lack of scientific understanding and an absence of reasoning.

No, There Weren’t More COVID-19 Vaccine Deaths Than COVID-19 Deaths

False. A vaccine adverse reaction tracking tool was misleadingly interpreted by junk news sites.

Want something fact checked in 2022? Submit your misinformation leads and questions to Snopes, subscribe to our newsletters, and support us financially by becoming a member or making a direct contribution.

Jessica Lee is Snopes' Senior Assignments Editor with expertise in investigative storytelling, media literacy advocacy and digital audience engagement.