The COVID-19 vaccine will soon be widely available across United States. It is important that people are well-informed and that we push back against disinformation and conspiracy theories.
Health literacy and clear communication between health professionals and patients are key to improving health and quality of healthcare. One group working to improve this is the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Their mission is to create, promote, and curate evidence-based health literacy and communication tools, practices, and health research for health professionals. They then use their resources to find effective strategies for sharing health information in ways that people can understand and use.
Ironically, last week was both national influenza vaccination week and handwashing week. The Healthy People 2030 objective focused on increasing the number of people who get a flu vaccine. Vaccinations are a powerful public health tool that go a long way to improve health of populations at large.
Both misinformation which is misleading or false information as well as disinformation, which refers to false facts that people spread on purpose to confuse others and sow distrust and information sources, are damaging. Sadly, examination of vaccination trends shows just how damaging vaccine misinformation and disinformation can be.
I encourage you to read and trust legitimate sources. A great resource for the latest, accurate coronavirus updates, is coronavirus.gov