A social media user shared the story of a California state employee who recently died due to an unspecified medical emergency. The post attributed the employee’s death to the COVID-19 vaccine and California’s vaccine mandate for state employees, despite having no evidence to support this claim. The post argued that California’s governor was complicit in this death, and in response, other social media users are calling for the governor's resignation.
Risk level: High
Recommendation: While these types of posts primarily circulate in vaccine opponent circles, the number of views and likes elevates the risk. It is recommended that doctors in California be prepared for questions about adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. Talking points may emphasize that COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and monitored over three years and have been determined to be safe. The benefits of staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccines outweigh any potential risks, because getting vaccinated reduces the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization, death, and long COVID.