Fake, Positive Vaccine Side Effects
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Fake Positive Vaccine Side Effects refers to satirical claims that the COVID-19 vaccine has given people unexpectedly pleasant benefits in addition to being protected from Covid. These are often cosmetic side effects, such as more attractive genitalia. The posts are parodies of conspiracy theory claims that the vaccine will cause negative side effects, such as implanted microchips.
While it's unclear when postive vaccine side effects parody posts started, it appears they began in late 2020, as news of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout began. One of the earliest known posts was posted by Twitter user @MrFantasticle on December 9th, 2020. The post reads:
Calling upon everyone who gets vaccinated to make up stories like these and post them on facebook:
"The vaccine made my dick grow by 5 inches!"
"The vaccine has increased my sex appeal significantly!"
"The vaccine finally allowed me to grow a beard."
The posts occurred with increasing frequency on social media over the following months. For example, on December 20th, 2020, Tumblr user vikingofficial posted, "Omg I took the Covid vaccine and now my dick looks bigger?? Anybody else experience this?", leading to a chain of users adding that their breasts and butt also improved after receiving the vaccine. The post gained over 29,000 notes (shown below, left). Twitter user @Azfarovski posted a similar joke on February 23rd, 2021, gaining over 2,000 retweets and 4,800 likes (shown below, right).
On March 19th, 2021, MEL Magazine covered the trend, with writer Miles Klee opining that the trend might actually be a better way of encouraging people to get the vaccine than debunking conspiracy theories. "Fact-checking is the dull, dreary business of nerds and wonks, and nobody likes being corrected," he wrote. "But we don’t have to debunk the horseshit about the vaccines making your arm fall off or whatever if we provide a more interesting and attractive lie."
 Twitter – MrFantasticle
 Tumblr – vikingofficial
 Twitter – Azfarovski
 MEL Magazine – LET’S PROMOTE THE VACCINE WITH POSITIVE (FAKE) SIDE EFFECTS
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Mar 19, 2021 at 03:05PM EDT
Mar 21, 2021 at 02:16PM EDT
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