Knowing what misinformation is being shared can help you generate effective messaging.

These insights are based on a combination of automated media monitoring and manual review by public health data analysts. Media data are publicly available data from many sources, such as social media, broadcast television, newspapers and magazines, news websites, online video, blogs, and more. Public health data analysts from the PGP (The Public Good Projects) triangulate this data along with other data from fact checking organizations and investigative sources to provide an accurate, but not exhaustive, list of currently circulating misinformation.

Recommendations are organized into three categories:

  • Ignore: Focus on current communications priorities.
  • Passive Response: Be prepared to address if directly asked, and in certain cases consider updating FAQ’s and info sheets addressing common myths and misperceptions. Otherwise, continue to focus on current communications priorities.
  • Direct Response: Directly address this misinformation.

A widely circulated video from an unverified World Health Organization (WHO) whistleblower falsely claims that Bill Gates has immunity from prosecution for any crime in any country that is a signatory to the WHO, through the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI). The video incorrectly alleges that this allows global and domestic health authorities, and co-founder of Microsoft and vaccine philanthropist Bill Gates, to advance immunization agendas without fear of retribution.

Recommendation: Ignore Read More +

A radio host and known conspiracy theorist has claimed that COVID-19 vaccines cause autoimmune disease. The host also claims that the government is suppressing the truth about COVID-19 vaccine safety, and is working to normalize depopulation. The conspiracy theory and myth that there is a global or domestic effort to secretly depopulate the world or particular groups, in this case using vaccines, is a common narrative.

Recommendation: Ignore Read More +

TikTok videos using the same Q&A-style script and wording are questioning the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination. They argue that there is no point to vaccination, given that people must continue to follow public health guidelines even after vaccination (masks and distancing), and it remains unclear whether vaccines prevent transmission. While these videos do not contain misinformation, they are misleading. They create a false equivalency between the significant individual and community protection provided by approved COVID-19 vaccines and the necessary, temporary inconvenience of mask wearing and social distancing to protect others until studies provide confirmation of the risk of spreading the virus after being vaccinated.

Recommendation: Direct Response Read More +

A TikTok video asks viewers to visit a website which features a compilation of vaccine-related blogs, news stories, and peer-reviewed articles. The website is purported to have been created by a toxicologist (unverified). Within each of the materials on the website, cherry picked sentences have been highlighted to draw the reader's eye to specific statements that are intended to sow doubt in the safety and efficacy of various vaccines. By cherry picking data and neglecting context, the website uses a common tactic of manipulating data to claim that vaccines are unsafe and ineffective.

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On the controversial online forum 8Kun (formerly called 8chan), a QAnon message board is starting a “meme campaign” to spread false information that the KKK is behind distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, as a way to deter Black people from getting vaccinated.

Recommendation: Ignore Read More +

A blog from an acupuncturist is circulating on social media, claiming that a solution of baking soda and water is an inexpensive and effective treatment for those with COVID-19. Fact checking organizations and health authorities have clarified this is not an approved treatment. This claim is similar to others that have circulated during the pandemic, such as the false claims drinking lemon juice and baking soda, or gargling with baking soda and hot water, can cure COVID-19.

Recommendation: Ignore Read More +

An organization with a history of fighting vaccine mandates has declared intent to file a lawsuit against CDC, claiming that CDC's website inaccurately states that there is no link between vaccines and autism. Research has repeatedly shown that vaccines do not cause autism. The declaration has led to a spike in related misinformation.

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In a now-removed but widely shared Facebook video, a man claims that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is an mRNA vaccine, and can make changes to the recipient’s genetic material. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is not an mRNA vaccine, and claims that such vaccines change genetic material have been repeatedly debunked by fact checking organizations and health authorities.

Recommendation: Passive Response Read More +

A widely shared article from an anti-vaccine group states that one-third of deaths reported to the CDC occurred within 48 hours of COVID-19 vaccination, implying that vaccination was the cause of death. This conclusion was made using data from the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS). This post continues a trend of incorrectly using self-reported VAERS data to draw causal links between vaccines and adverse health events. The VAERS is a passive surveillance system in which any individual can self-report any health problem following self-reported immunization. VAERS is the official US vaccine adverse event reporting system, maintained and monitored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, reports to the VAERS do not determine if a vaccine caused a reaction or death; if a report is found to have merit, it begins the first of many subsequent steps taken by health officials to investigate adverse events.

Recommendation: Ignore Read More +

Claims that wearing a mask will cause respiratory complications are widespread, such as hypoxia and bacterial pneumonia. According to the CDC, there is no risk of hypoxia or pneumonia in healthy adults who wear a mask. And while bacteria can accumulate on masks over time, this risk is eliminated by switching out disposable masks or regularly washing reusable ones.

Recommendation: Passive Response Read More +

Knowing what misinformation is being shared can help you generate effective messaging.

These insights are based on a combination of automated media monitoring and manual review by public health data analysts. Media data are publicly available data from many sources, such as social media, broadcast television, newspapers and magazines, news websites, online video, blogs, and more. Public health data analysts from the PGP (The Public Good Projects) triangulate this data along with other data from fact checking organizations and investigative sources to provide an accurate, but not exhaustive, list of currently circulating misinformation.

Recommendations are provided, organized into three categories:
  • Ignore: Focus on current communications priorities.
  • Passive Response: Be prepared to address if directly asked, and in certain cases consider updating FAQ’s and info sheets addressing common myths and misperceptions. Otherwise, continue to focus on current communications priorities.
  • Direct Response: Directly address this misinformation.
Vaccine Misinformation Guide

Get practical tips for addressing misinformation in this new guide. Click image to download.

Vaccine Misinformation Guide

Get practical tips for addressing misinformation in this new guide. Click image to download, or see highlights