Pushing Back on the Spread of COVID-19 Misinformation: A Guide for Health Centers

Misinformation about COVID-19 has spread almost as fast as the virus itself. In 2021, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory about misinformation, warning that misinformation about COVID-19 is an urgent threat to public health that is putting American lives at risk. NACHC hears frequently from health centers that misinformation is one of the biggest challenges they face in responding to the pandemic. NACHC created this resource to help you counter misinformation in your communityโ€”not only about COVID-19 but about other health issues as well.

Misinformation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The sheer volume of communications about vaccines has skyrocketed. The rise in the spread of inaccurate and misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines has created what some have called an “infodemic” — resulting in considerable confusion and an increase in vaccine hesitancy. People are rejecting and distrusting evidenced-based public health guidance and measures such as masking and physical distancing and using unproven COVID-19 treatments.

As highly trusted sources of health information, health centers are well positioned to join national and local efforts to actively respond to COVID-19 misinformation. Health centers can help people make informed decisions about their health based on accurate, evidenced-based, and factual health information.

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