This week, a California political commentator and former presidential candidate shared an article on social media falsely claiming that COVID-19 vaccines have caused more deaths than the virus. The article cites a study that was peer-reviewed by two known vaccine opponents. Some social media users who commented on the post claimed that COVID-19 vaccines are “bioweapons” intended to cause death.
Risk level: High
Recommendation: These types of posts may discourage patients in California from getting the updated COVID-19 vaccine, especially when the false claims are coming from a former political candidate with a large platform. Talking points may emphasize that COVID-19 vaccines are not bioweapons, and there is strong evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have not caused mass deaths. COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and have been determined to be safe, as adverse effects are extremely rare. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older to protect against severe illness, hospitalization, death, and long COVID.