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: These types of conspiracy theories may promote distrust in public health guidance about bird flu. This may discourage patients from following current and future public health guidance, especially guidance related to vaccines. If patients have questions about bird flu, messaging may emphasize that according to health officials, the U.S. food supply remains safe. Officials have also said that it’s safe to eat properly cooked poultry, eggs, and pasteurized dairy products. 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. While the risk of contracting bird flu is low, the CDC recommends avoiding contact with wild animals and avoiding unprotected contact with domestic animals that may be sick.