The stakes for fighting misinformation are life and death

The stakes for fighting misinformation are life and death


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The United States surgeon general published a report this week calling for a whole-of-society response to health misinformation, calling it a “serious threat to public health.” It took a sweeping look at a wide range of misinformation, on everything from masks to unproven drugs.

But the focus of Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s remarks circled back to vaccines. Daily vaccination rates have stalled out at around 500,000 shots per day, and in many pockets of the country, a majority of people aren’t getting immunized. The US is struggling to bump those numbers up.

Misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines spreads fast, and so do the accompanying consequences. The rapid spread of the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant makes them…

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