WHO, FB vs. online vaccine misinformation

People were killed by measles viruses like this one — it could have been prevented.

Vaccine misinformation: WHO Director-General on Facebook and Instagram

by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus


The World Health Organization welcomes the commitment by Facebook to ensure that users find facts about vaccines across Instagram, Facebook Search, Groups, Pages and forums where people seek out information and advice.

Facebook will direct millions of its users to WHO’s accurate and reliable vaccine information in several languages, to ensure that vital health messages reach people who need them the most.

The World Health Organization and Facebook have been in discussions for several months to ensure people can to access authoritative information on vaccines and reduce the spread of inaccuracies.

Vaccine misinformation is a major threat to global health that could reverse decades of progress made in tackling preventable diseases.

Many debilitating and deadly diseases can be effectively prevented by vaccines. Think measles, diphtheria, hepatitis, polio, cholera, yellow fever, influenza…

Major digital organizations have a responsibility to their users — to ensure that they can access facts about vaccines and health. It would be great to see social and search platforms come together to leverage their combined reach.

We want digital actors doing more to make it known around the world that #VaccinesWork.

We want innovation that supports healthy behaviors to save lives and protect the vulnerable. So many children whose parents fully support vaccination currently lack access to these life-saving tools.

These online efforts must be matched by tangible steps by governments and the health sector to promote trust in vaccination and respond to the needs and concerns of parents.

Let’s not miss more opportunities to prevent the spread of some of the world’s deadliest diseases.


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