The World Health Organisation said that misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines appear to have gotten worse and are keeping people from getting the shots, driving an increase in cases.
“In the last four weeks or so, the amount of misinformation that is out there seems to be getting worse, and I think that’s really confusing for the general public,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on Covid, said during a Q&A livestreamed on the organisation’s social media channels.
Misinformation has become another risk factor that is “really allowing the virus to thrive,” she said.
Public health leaders have blamed conspiracy theories and misinformation for growing distrust and hesitancy of the vaccines among a wary public around the world.
Public health officials said they hope that the Food and Drug Administration’s formal approval of Pfizer’s Covid vaccine will help push some people who have been on the fence about getting immunised to get the shots.