Posts spread opposition to routine vaccines

Several popular posts attacking routine vaccines are circulating online. Vaccine opponents continue to misrepresent the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to overturn the dismissal of an anti-vaccine mandate lawsuit, claiming it proves that health officials lied about COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness. An attorney who has led many anti-vaccine mandate lawsuits uses the debunked claim to argue against requiring pertussis, polio, and tetanus vaccines. One post falsely claims that infant hepatitis B vaccination is unnecessary and unsafe, while others repeat the debunked myths that routine childhood vaccines cause autism, SIDS, and weakened immune systems.

Recommendation: These types of posts attempt to undermine the public’s trust in vaccine safety, and they provide an opportunity for health agencies, community-based organizations, and other partners to recirculate existing content about the importance of routine vaccinations for adults and children. Messaging may emphasize that drops in routine immunization coverage pose a real threat to those who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated, including infants and those who can’t be safely vaccinated. Decades of research support the safety of childhood vaccines and have consistently shown there is no link between any vaccine and autism, SIDS, immune dysfunction, or chronic illness. Explaining that vaccines have the highest testing and safety standards of almost any medical intervention and that all vaccines undergo rigorous safety trials and monitoring is recommended.