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The FactChecker

In medicine, effectiveness is not the same as efficacy. Here’s what you need to know

Have you ever heard the words efficacy and effectiveness being used interchangeably? You probably have used them as synonyms at times, especially in describing COVID-19 vaccines. 

Well, this article is here to first inform you of their difference, with a focus on vaccine efficacy and effectiveness which has been wrongly used and has thus led to one form of misinformation or another.

Let’s start with the term public health impact. This is usually measured to place the association between an exposure and an outcome into a meaningful public health context. Measures of public health impact reflect the burden that exposure contributes to the frequency of disease in the population and two methods are often used; the attributable proportion and efficacy or effectiveness. 

The term efficacy and effectiveness have been used interchangeably when it comes to vaccines and more often with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The two terms are used to describe how well a drug or vaccine works; however, they are not actually the same thing.

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No evidence Igbariam/Akwuzu killings were perpetrated by Fulanis as claimed on Twitter

  • A Twitter user, Nelson Obidon (King), (@Ph_Obidon) made a Twitter post on Monday April 26, 2021, with two videos claiming house to house killing was ongoing at Igbariam junction. But, how true?

On Monday April 19, 2021, a Facebook post by Tariere Fiebai was shared by another Facebook user, Choji Tosanwumi Pwoi. The post had 8 reactions, 9 comments and 2 shares. According to this post accompanied by the picture of a “Jet”, this Jet was…

Recently, a viral WhatsApp message claims that the vaccine reduces the lifespan of as many that took the vaccine. For people below 50 years of age, they are expected to die within 5-10 years while those above 70 will…

Tip Of The Week


There’s precious little that we can do about the barrage of misinformation that we see daily, but there’s a lot we can do together if we learn to identify suspicious claims in the news and refrain from fuelling the fire by spreading them! Here are our top picks of likely-to-be-false news which [sadly] couldn’t be fact-checked.

CLAIM:   Viral WhatsApp message suggests ways to clean the kidney ‘without pain.’ – SOURCE: WhatsApp Message

A WhatsApp message says Scent leaves would help clean the kidneys. Further, the message gave directions on how to prepare and use the herbal remedy. But is there a scientific study backing the use of scent leaves for cleaning the kidneys?

Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? How credible is he/she? Is there a study backing this claim? 

What you should do: Verify before sharing. 

Other Fact Checks

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