Social media posts react to report on Pentagon anti-vaccine campaign against China

Social media posts in both English and Spanish reacted to Reuters’s report about a clandestine Pentagon anti-vaccine campaign to discredit China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. Posts shared quotes and parts of the report while criticizing the Pentagon’s actions, especially its role in undermining broader public health efforts in the countries it targeted in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Recommendation: Engaging directly with conversations about the Pentagon’s anti-vaccine campaign in China may detract from key talking points. However, trending conversations about anti-vaccine messages provide an opportunity for health agencies, community-based organizations, and other partners to recirculate existing content about the safety and necessity of COVID-19 vaccines. Continuing to reiterate that COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and determined to be safe and that they prevent severe illness, hospitalization, long COVID, and death is recommended. Ensuring that informational materials, including websites and FAQ materials, clearly outline which COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the U.S. is also recommended. If directly debunking false claims about Sinovac, messaging may emphasize that even though Chinese COVID-19 vaccines were found to be less effective than their U.S. counterparts, they were approved and deemed safe by the World Health Organization and administered in many countries around the world.