Vaccine opponents spread false claims about bird flu

Several prominent vaccine opponents posted false claims about bird flu online, in both English and Spanish. Some of the false claims include that there’s been a possible “artificial introduction of H5N1 bird flu into farming operations and food.” Other claims resurfaced conspiracy theories about a “plandemic,” casting suspicion on the fact that there are already vaccines against bird flu approved for humans in case they’re needed. 

Recommendation: Trending narratives about bird flu allow health departments an opportunity to provide accurate information about the current H5N1 avian flu outbreak. If directly debunking these false claims, messaging may emphasize that according to health officials, the U.S. food supply remains safe from bird flu. Officials have also said that eating properly cooked poultry, eggs, and pasteurized dairy products is safe. Additionally, the U.S. has vaccines ready for use in a possible bird flu outbreak as a result of preparedness efforts, including monitoring the virus’s evolution for years. Ensuring that community-based organizations and other partners have updated FAQs and one pagers with messaging about bird flu risk is recommended. Messaging may emphasize that the risk of contracting bird flu is extremely low. Infrequently, humans have contracted bird flu after coming into contact with infected animals, and cases of human-to-human transmission are even more rare