As a new phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign begins for children ages 5 to 11 years old, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy releases a Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation – a PDF to help Americans navigate the serious threat of health misinformation, especially online, according to a press release.
Earlier this year, Dr. Murthy issued the first Surgeon General’s advisory of the current administration warning of an urgent threat of health misinformation and calling for a collective approach to address it.
The Toolkit provides specific guidance to individuals, healthcare professionals and administrators, teachers, school administrators, librarians, and faith leaders to understand, identify, and stop the spread of health misinformation in their communities. The toolkit comes at a critical time when Americans are learning more about the role technology companies play in the spread of health misinformation.
Resources in the Community Toolkit include:
- A Health Misinformation Checklist to help evaluate the accuracy of health-related content;
- Tips on how individuals can talk to loved ones about health misinformation;
- An outline of common types of misinformation and disinformation tactics; and
- Reflections and examples of times individuals may have encountered misinformation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, health misinformation and disinformation have threatened the U.S. response to COVID-19 and continue to prevent Americans from getting vaccinated, prolonging the pandemic and putting lives at risk.