• Staff Writer

US Surgeon General Issues Advisory, Fights Health Misinformation

With COVID-19 vaccines free and widely available, public health officials are fighting another pandemic: misinformation. US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy aims to tackle health misinformation head-on. On July 15, the Surgeon General issued an Advisory (Health Misinformation Reports and Publications | HHS.gov) to warn Americans about the dangers of misinformation about masks, social distancing, treatments, and vaccines.

As of late May, at least 67% of unvaccinated adults believed at least one false piece of "information", easily disproved by science. Social media posts have contributed substantially to the amount of misinformation available to Americans.

According to latest reporting, the majority of new COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among unvaccinated persons.

Meanwhile, vaccination against COVID-19 is still the best defense against severe disease, and the vaccines are effective against variants of concern including the Delta variant. The vaccines have been studied thoroughly and have undergone a rigorous regulatory approval process.

The Surgeon General encourages Americans to seek trusted messengers and trusted sources of truth. He said, "As Surgeon General, my job is to help people stay safe and healthy, and without limiting the spread of health misinformation, American lives are at risk."

North Carolina Health Equity Project, Inc. encourages our constituencies and stakeholders to always validate the veracity of information by seeking official data, resources, and publications from hhs.gov, cdc.gov, nih.gov, and ncdhhs.gov. Moreover, we encourage leaders to share the Surgeon General's Advisory with their communities.

The full PDF of the Advisory, "Confronting Health Misinformation: The US Surgeon General's Advisory on Building a Health Information Environment" is available directly from Health and Human Services at Confronting Health Misinformation (hhs.gov).


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