Washington DC [US], July 15 (ANI): US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has warned that health misinformation, including disinformation, continues to prevent Americans from getting vaccinated, prolonging the ongoing COVID pandemic and putting lives at risk.
Dr Murthy, in his first advisory as Surgeon General on Thursday, said, "Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic."
"From the tech and social media companies who must do more to address the spread on their platforms, to all of us identifying and avoiding sharing misinformation, tackling this challenge will require an all-of-society approach, but it is critical for the long-term health of our nation."
The Surgeon General cited a recent analysis of millions of social media posts, which showed that false stories were 70 per cent more likely to be shared than true stories.
Another study showed that even brief exposure to misinformation made people less likely to want a COVID-19 vaccine, the advisory said.
Dr Murthy oversees the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS), a group of over 6,000 uniformed officers whose mission is to protect, promote, and advance the health of our nation.
The advisory coincides with declining vaccination rates in the United States and low vaccine coverage in several states, which officials blame for a sharp rise in new COVID-19 infections in several regions of the US. (ANI)