WASHINGTON, D.C.—Misinformation about COVID-19, vaccines and treatments is rampant and putting lives at risk in communities with low vaccination rates. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is addressing vaccine hesitancy head on by mobilizing doctors on a multi-state satellite media tour to give everyone facts they can trust and answer common questions about the vaccines.
“Misinformation is fueling vaccine hesitancy in many states but there’s a mountain of real world and clinical evidence that proves the vaccines are safe and effective,” said Jennifer L. Stankus, MD, JD, FACEP, chair of the Emergency Medicine Foundation Board of Trustees. “We have to help people understand —before they have an emergency —that the vaccines offer the best protection we have against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”
The October campaign featured Jessica Solis-McCarthy, MD, FACEP, a bilingual emergency physician in San Antonio, Texas, and Ryan Stanton, MD, FACEP, an emergency physician in Lexington, Kentucky. These ACEP experts were featured more than 2,000 times online, on television, and on radio programs across the country. Emergency physicians are still available for interviews in English and Spanish.
ACEP urges everyone to be wary of unsourced information, bold claims, or instant cures circulating on social media or among friends. Instead, seek information supported by data and backed by leading organizations.
The media tour is supported by the Emergency Medicine Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on emergency medicine research, and the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging public policy decisions based on science and reason without bias or dogma.
“The view from inside the emergency department is a world apart from what’s portrayed by people who spread misinformation,” said Todd Stiefel, president of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation. “The truth is that hospitals are nearly devoid of people with vaccine side effects but filled almost completely with critically ill unvaccinated patients. People need to hear trustworthy facts straight from experts and this campaign is empowering emergency physicians to provide public education that could save lives.”
More information about the virus and vaccines is available at ACEP’s Vaccine Information Center.