Social media posts make misleading claims about Ebola virus vaccine

Last week, a popular conspiracy theorist with a large platform made misleading claims about the live Ebola virus vaccine, which was administered to health care providers in Colorado. His posts alleged those who received this vaccine can become sick with Ebola and infect others through viral shedding.

Risk level: Medium

Recommendation: These types of posts may discourage patients in Colorado from getting recommended vaccines—especially live, attenuated vaccines. The widespread nature of these posts elevates the risk. Talking points may emphasize that live, attenuated vaccines contain a protein of a virus—not the virus itself. Experts agree that vaccine shedding is expected with some vaccines and is generally not harmful to recipients or those around them. Vaccines are rigorously tested before they become available to the public. The benefits of vaccination outweigh any potential risks, because vaccines prevent severe illness and death.