October 27, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces #GetTheVaxFacts Campaign to Combat COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation

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Governor Hochul Announces #GetTheVaxFacts Campaign to Combat COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation
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Effort Seeks To Debunk Misinformation and Educate New Yorkers on

Ways to Make Healthier Choices About the Information We Consume, Share and Act On 

Provides Resources for Vaccine Ambassadors and the Public to Help Fight Misinformation in Their Communities and Networks

New Program Includes a Dedicated Microsite and Downloadable Toolkits

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a new program—#GetTheVaxFacts—to combat COVID-19 vaccine misinformation online. The campaign includes a dedicated website as well as downloadable toolkits to address the most pressing misinformation topics around the COVID-19 vaccine in a thorough and easy-to-understand way. The new resources cover misinformation related to pregnancy and infertility, side effects, safety and speed, as well as government conspiracy theories that continue to circulate on social media and digital forums.

"With more than 86 percent of New York adults having received at least one dose, we have made tremendous progress in getting people vaccinated - but there is still more work to do," Governor Hochul said. "Misinformation is harmful and dangerous, especially to New Yorkers who remain hesitant about getting vaccinated, and we are fighting it on all fronts to ensure people know the real story about the vaccines: that they are safe, effective, and free. I urge all New Yorkers to actively take a role in helping their communities get the vax facts—so everyone can make an informed decision to protect themselves from this dangerous virus."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/COQqC9cNVk4

In addition to the new website and resource library, which will be organized by topic for New Yorkers' use, the State will also launch digital advertising to help reach populations that continue to seek accurate information about the vaccine. 

The new toolkits, which include discussion guides, frequently asked questions and answers, as well as social media captions and graphics, will help provide New Yorkers a new place to find and share trusted, credible information. The new site and campaign will also include education to help New Yorkers learn how to spot untrustworthy content from bad actors and tips to consider before re-sharing sensational and inaccurate postings. The Department of Health will be partnering with community organizations to provide materials in multiple languages.

4 Steps You Can Take to Combat the Spread of Misinformation:

  1. Verify before sharing. Before sharing something on social media, check if the original source of the information is trustworthy. If you're unsure, it may not be safe to share. 
  2. Be cautious when it comes to sensational headlines and images. Misinformation often comes with sensational or shocking text and images that are designed to grab your attention - accurate information is often less sensational.
  3. Get the full story. Misinformation often "cherry-picks" or elevates a small piece of a story in order to mislead or alarm you. Make an effort to get the full story and context behind a piece of content. You can do this by checking to see if information sources you trust are also covering the information that you are unsure about.
  4. Amplify trustworthy sources in your community. Help to spread good information within your community by sharing accurate information from trustworthy sources. Misinformation spreads faster when there is a shortage of good, fact-based information.

 

With more than 86 percent of New York adults having received at least one dose, we have made tremendous progress in getting people vaccinated - but there is still more work to do,

Governor Hochul

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, who released a Health Misinformation Advisory earlier this year said, "Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health, especially as we begin outreach out to parents of children who may soon be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We all have a role to limit the spread of health misinformation, and I'm grateful that Governor Hochul and the state of New York are proactively working to combat vaccine misinformation. It's this kind of bold action that we need to ensure we all have accurate, science-based information to protect ourselves and our loved ones."

Chief Technology Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer of New York State, Rajiv Rao said, "Mis and disinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine continues to spread online, presenting in forms that are difficult to detect, rapidly amplified, and can result in negative public health consequences. Governor Hochul's#GetTheVaxFacts program will help combat misinformation at its core, providing new mediums and messages so New Yorkers can have access to accurate information and can join in sharing the facts. I encourage all New Yorkers to take the time make healthy decisions about the information we see and share on social media."

Dr. Wendy Wilcox, Chief Women's Health Services Officer for New York City Health + Hospitals, said, "As an obstetrician-gynecologist I am extremely disturbed by the rampant misinformation online regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, especially surrounding fertility and pregnancy. The vaccine is safe and effective. We urge all pregnant people to get vaccinated. COVID-19 puts pregnant people at increased risk of severe complications, such as having a premature birth or being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). We also remind everyone that the vaccine does not impact fertility. These are myths that are important to combat with facts, and we call on all New Yorkers to #GetTheVaxFacts."

Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO & Executive Director of FPWA, said, "We applaud Governor Hochul's #GetTheVaxFacts program to debunk the rampant dissemination of misinformation throughout our state.  We believe it is critically important for New Yorkers have accurate and scientific information to make good decisions for themselves about their health, especially as we work in and with community to advance health and well-being. We thank Governor Hochul for her continued vigilance on these issues and providing necessary resources to our communities."

Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of Hispanic Federation said, "The #GetTheVaxFacts campaign comes at a time where many questions are emerging regarding newly eligible ages and booster shots. The vaccine is the best tool we have in our fight against COVID-19 and it is vital that all New Yorkers be presented with linguistically competent, true, reliable information regarding this life-saving tool.  We applaud Governor Hochul's leadership in creating and launching the #GetTheVaxFacts campaign to ensure that New Yorkers are able to make the healthiest, informed choices for themselves and their families."

Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director of Asian American Federation said, "Governor Hochul is taking the reins on combatting misinformation in New York State and for that we are thankful. It is crucial that members of our community protect themselves from harm by basing their decisions on facts and proven science, especially as we continue to forge through a global pandemic. We support this initiative and look forward to sharing these in-language resources."

Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director of New York Immigration Coalition said,"New Yorkers have proven themselves strong and resilient throughout our fight with COVID-19. Now it's time to ensure that every New Yorker has access to accurate and verifiable information to ensure the health and well-being of their families and communities, into the future. This campaign allows people to easily find the factual information they need to debunk myths and keep their families safe from vaccine misinformation. We applaud Governor Hochul for taking this step on behalf of the State of New York."

Governor Hochul Announces #GetTheVaxFacts Campaign to Combat Covid-19 Vaccine Misinformation

Therese Rodriguez, CEO of Apicha Community Health Center said,"Misinformation is a pandemic all its own. One that prevents people from accessing real information so that they can making choices for their wellbeing effectively. Many in our community who have limited English proficiency are influenced by the misinformation spread by family, friends, and digital social networks popular in their home countries. The resources we were given to build long-lasting, durable connections and communications within these communities is critical not only in dealing with the COVID-19 misinformation, but also improving overall health. We commend Governor Hochul for this good public policy that takes steps to fight the spread of this harmful misinformation."  

Kaushal Challa, CEO of Charles B. Wang Community Health Center said, "When it comes to the vaccine, New Yorkers need access to real, scientific facts to make the best choices for themselves and their loved ones.  The #GetTheVaxFacts program from the State provides resources and helps to fight against harmful misinformation.  This effort will allow this state to continue to make strides against COVID-19."

For more information on New York State's #GetTheVaxFacts campaign, New Yorkers can visit the new website herededicated FAQ page here, and download toolkits and resources here.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640

Translations

الترجمة إلى العربية
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বাংলা অনুবাদ
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Tradiksyon kreyòl ayisyen
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Traduzione italiana
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Polskie tłumaczenie
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Перевод на русский язык
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אידישע איבערטייטשונג
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