Misinformation fueling vaccine hesitancy, PAHO Director says

Dr. Carissa-Etienne, PAHO Director

Misinformation is one of the most serious threats to public health, and it is most damaging when it fuels vaccine hesitancy, Pan American Health Organization Director Carissa F. Etienne said today.

“Every person in a vulnerable group that is hesitant to get the vaccine can become part of the sad statistics, one of the thousands of deaths that occur daily due to COVID-19. Vaccines are saving lives now and will contribute to control transmission in the near future when we achieve high immunization coverage,” she told a press briefing.

Reports of very rare unexpected side effects from some COVID-19 vaccines should not make people hesitate to get immunized, she said.

“The vaccines delivered through COVAX have been thoroughly assessed by the WHO experts. The benefits of these vaccines in preventing infections, hospitalizations, and deaths outweigh the risks of side events,” Dr. Etienne noted.

“Because unreliable information spreads quickly, PAHO is collaborating with tech companies like Twitter, Google, and Facebook to address fake news and ensure the public can easily find accurate information,” Dr. Etienne added.

The tragic milestone of more than three million deaths from COVID, nearly half of them in the Americas, “is a reminder that we must do more to protect each other because this virus continues to be a threat in every corner and community across our region,” Etienne said. In the last week alone, the Americas reported more than 1.5 million new COVID cases and nearly 40,000 deaths.

“COVID vaccines don’t provide instant protection. Our bodies take time to build up immunity to the virus after we’re vaccinated, and we won’t see their full impact until more of us are protected. Let’s remember that with the limited doses available to us at this time, the priority should be to save lives. Stopping transmission of this disease requires additional measures,” Dr. Etienne said.

The PAHO Director noted that “in Israel, COVID-19 vaccines are already helping drive down infections, and initial data from Chile and some cities in Brazil indicate a reduction in hospitalizations among the elderly, thanks in part to COVID vaccines.”

“PAHO is doing everything we can to get as many vaccines to our region as possible, as quickly as possible. We have helped deliver more than 4.2 million doses of COVID vaccines to 29 countries in the Americas. Millions of additional vaccines are due in the coming weeks. And we won’t stop until every country in our region has the vaccines they need,” Dr. Etienne said.

But, she noted, “We need more COVID vaccines for our region. We need countries to quickly administer the doses they have on hand. We need communities to build trust in vaccines. And when it’s your turn to get vaccinated, remember: These vaccines can save your life.”

Vaccination Week in the Americas, which starts next week, “is a perfect time to remind us all of the power of vaccines to save lives. Vaccinations are a collective effort and the success of immunization campaigns depends on all of us,” Etienne said.

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22 Comments

  1. Shaka zulu
    September 15, 2021

    Where was the emergency meeting when precedence was set for the illegal use of force by the RSS on citizens of Dominica. We will never forget we will never forget

  2. Anthony P. Ismael
    April 26, 2021

    Although there is some vaccine hesitancy, that is not the only reason why some people refuse to get vaccinated. We live in an information age where clinical data is shared daily throughout various outlets. The adverse reasons that some persons have experienced, to include death of loved ones from vaccinations is probably the biggest threat to mass vaccinations. The Scientific community has already told us that an “Inactivated/Traditional Vaccine” is needed to fight not just Covid-19, but its variants. With such conflicting information, you can begin to understand some of the vaccine hesitancy.

  3. LifeandDeath
    April 23, 2021

    Some say that this is a mission not simply to test vaccine efficacy but to test compliance. But if it worked then all fears would be laid to rest.
    These Vaccines are quite unnecessary (with a string of unknowns) for a Disease that has a 99% natural rate of recovery.
    I really could not believe that COVID-19 was not the number 1 killer in 2020, it was #3 despite best efforts to credit every single underlying disease death to COVID-19. Turns out that it was Heart Disease that was #1. So where is the heart Disease Vaccine?
    It’s not misinformation spurring hesitancy, it’s the sheer foolishness that comes with it. No solid explanation or reason for these vaccines.
    Someone decided very early in the game that “Vaccines” were the cure, without even waiting to see how the disease progressed. The world is just not convinced.

  4. john manson
    April 23, 2021

    Which misinformation ??? You , Doctor, you are misinformed ! Obviously ! Or you want to play that bad game too….
    Why “they” want so badly to put that injection in the people’s body ??? why ? this is the real question.
    This injection is dangerous. Full Point.
    Stop misinform the people Doctor. And people, for a lot of them, are not stupid.
    The pLandemic is not going to work because people are opening their eyes.
    If health was priority number one so : no junk food anymore. No cigarettes anymore. No chemical in farming anymore.

    • Toto
      April 23, 2021

      Sorry guys, I don’t eat MacDonalds or KFC but if I have a choice to have the anti Covid vaccine I will take it because I trust science more than belief. Belief is for church and often for charlatans. You don’t have to take your vaccine but don’t be upset if if I tell you to stay away from my house. The choice is yours and good luck to you.

      • WCA Cangee
        November 19, 2021

        Unfortunately you are only reading or listening to the so-called science that mainstream media in those ‘big’ countries (and copy-cat ours) are bringing to you but they’re not showing you all the other scientific papers that are coming out every day on the reactions, adverse or not to these very new, still in trial phase vaccines. Either you do your own homework or just watch TV. Your choice but most people who are resisting are doing a whole lot of research themselves and don’t like what they’re seeing. They have a choice like you rightly said but good luck to BOTH sides because as time progresses, many people are just suddenly dying. Nice young people and people who haven’t even yet reached their proper middle ages. The ‘Vaxx’ argument is ‘people die everyday’ but 1. how come they couldn’t die every day last year and were registered as COVID deaths they died from a heart attack sure but only tested positive for COVID. That is NOT a Covid death.

  5. Thinking of Choice
    April 23, 2021

    Please look at the situation in India.Then make your choice
    The island is a low risk yes,because not many visitors come but we cannot survive on that model of isolation.

    • Roger Burnett
      April 25, 2021

      “Many visitors” is not necessarily the key to Dominica’s future survival or prosperity. Agriculture, our most certain long term asset, requires no “visitors” whatsoever.

      Tourism is the most fickle of all livelihoods.

  6. Gary
    April 23, 2021

    When Dr. Carissa-Etienne says, “Misinformation is one of the most serious threats to public health, and it is most damaging when it fuels vaccine hesitancy,” such a statement is a classic example of someone on propaganda offensive to push an agenda in hopes of destroying critical thinking showing absolute disregard for the truth, there is something called genuine freedom of discussion, this is what leads us to the truth, not one narrative, as I have said, Dr. Carissa-Etienne is given a Tittle, which comes with a role, and she is playing her role.

  7. RastarMarn
    April 22, 2021

    See I does give people chance upon chance upon chances to prove their self worth,,,

    For who doh know, Mamzelle is a Dominican yeh and Mamzelle juss lost all Credibility she established to make her be in the spot she in today,,,

    Dey say it was a lot of African Chiefs whom benefited from the slave trade at the demise of plenty of their brothers and sister,,,

    For mamzelle to come talking all this Mombo-Jombo for people like people don’t have access to the real data is an insult to RastarMarn’s Critical Thinking capabilities,,,

    So DNO maybe allyou could forward them questions to mamzelle,,,

    Why should people take this solution when it was not fully tested,,,

    Why should people put this solution in their bodies when those same people that made it say it not going to prevent Illness, transmission, infection and hospitalization,,,

    Why should people take that solution when they still trying to figure out that which they claim it suppose to be fighting,,,

    Mamzelle need…

  8. Roger Burnett
    April 22, 2021

    Regardless of the effectiveness of the current crop of vaccines, the concern for many of us is how many multiple doses of modified vaccines, and regular repeat doses of vaccines, will it take to keep on top of the inevitable variants of the virus.

    Until this thing blows over, perhaps it’s best we stay put: Safe in Nature. A small island with limited access is definitely the best place to be at this point in time.

    • UKDominican
      April 23, 2021

      I had my second Astra Zeneca vaccination last week. No after effects whatsoever. The hospital admissions for Covid in the U.K. have dropped drastically as have the number of deaths. This morning the BBC reported that the health authorities have found no discernible difference in performance between the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines and they appear to be effective also against the variants. Meanwhile, arrivals from India have been put on the restricted list as from today. Dominica is doing rights long as they keep strict control on arrivals, without exception.

  9. hmm
    April 22, 2021

    Within the space of 1 year they changed the “science” on masks at least twice. They were posting on their social media that there was no evidence of human to human transmission when infections were already exploding in China and Taiwan was already trying to sound the alarm. They changed their stance on lockdowns and travel restrictions – they were against them when it would have affected China then they were pro-lockdowns once the virus already spread to other countries and it was too late. The politicians who support them the most were telling people that a vaccine could never be developed that fast and were telling people that they shouldn’t take it because a certain president was the one pushing it. They conveniently changed the standards for the tests right when their preferred president took charge in the US.

    At this point you really have to ask – who is it really spreading misinformation?

    • Channel 1
      April 23, 2021

      @hmm – From your comment above, I deduce that you are one of those paying close attention to what is going on out there – the narratives, the different actors (covert & overt) involved/employed in pushing (willingly, unwillingly, unsuspectingly naive) certain narratives, the psychological and public relations methodologies employed to push varying narratives, the puppet masters – hiding in the shadows – controlling the puppets…etc.

      Stay tuned…

      P.S. – Can somebody let me know whether somebody has asked media entities in the region to limit the airing of legitimate news worthy items regarding possible side effects & concerns of these experimental vaccines?

  10. Jules Vert
    April 22, 2021

    Well, here’s a paradox. Why would we want to get advice from Google, Facebook and Twitter, the unholy trinity who are known for censoring disagreeing views and spreading misinformation themselves? Secondly, why do we have to wait so long for the FDA to give its approval on the vaccines? Why can’t they make a decision and put people’s mind at ease? As far as the FDA is concerned, the vaccines are experimental drugs that you can take at your own peril.

  11. Agent Nemo
    April 22, 2021

    She said all that n still said nothing…we are yet to be given the full factsheet on each of the covid vaccines…”vaccines are supposed to do this, vaccines are supposed to do that” “vaccines help reduce, vaccines help prevent”…we know the purpose of vaccines, what we need to know is if these covid vaccines do what they’re supposed to.

  12. Waiting For Airport
    April 22, 2021

    Not misinformation DR… people dying after taking it, people having extreme side effects… people getting COvid after taking it, people still have to wear mask and still have to social distance after taking it, still have to quarantine, still have to get tested…. so in reality, what sense it making to take it?

    in the real world, there are no actual benefits… you guys say what you say, but in the real world, what we actually seeing just not making sense.

    Reality is we cannot trust WHO and we cannot trust PAHO. All you saying what they pay all you to say, all you not telling the truth!

    CNN/MSNBC Legal Analyst Midwin Charles dead after taking it. She post on her twitter about taking it, little time is RIP!

    All now in Jamaica the nurse who give journalist Michael Sharpe the Astra vaccine is getting death threats, people vex because she give the man the vaccine that kill him.

    Plenty more, but all you ignoring that! Just want to force us to accept this genocide!

    • Watching
      April 22, 2021

      What you expect ettiene to say eh..she getting her money she cannot say anything against even if they know and alot of doctors ain’t taking the vaccine…I am so disappointed in our caribbean people…just falling for this and not promoting the herbs. We have so many herbalists. We taking about nature isle but all the natural they leave behind and running for white people stuff. Smh

    • Thinking of Choice
      April 22, 2021

      Please look at the situation in India.Then make your choice
      The island is a low risk yes,because not many visitors come but we cannot survive on that model of isolation.

  13. Anson Pantz
    April 22, 2021

    I recall when missionaries were telling people – falsely – that it was not mosquitoes spreading dengue, etc., but that it was “god’s will”. Talk about misinformation!

    I also recall when a member of Parliament blamed road accidents not on excessive speed or carelessness, but on a “jumbee”.

    Misinformation flowers in a field of ignorance.

    • Malatete
      April 23, 2021

      The dengue virus was first isolated by Japanese scientists in 1943. Your story is misinformation itself. Trust the scientists if you don’t believe the preachers.

  14. click here
    April 22, 2021

    Misinformation. You all hear this? On the W.H.O and on the PAHO websites they themselves ADMIT!!! that the vaccine is useless. Reasonable clear thinking people can read the information these official websites on the frequently asked question about the vaccines and can see for themselves that (1) the vaccine doesnt prevent you from getting COVID-19 (2) the vaccine doesnt prevent you passing it on (3) after taking it you still HAVE to wear a mask (4) you are still required to social distance. In essense, this isnt a vaccine, however, we know that we are the intended guinea pigs. That is why people are hesitant, give the information/facts that Dr. Ettienne’s organisation itself has provided.

    See how they like to try and fool you? So now you just supposed to ignore all the facts as misinformation and just run to take it because they tell you to. laughable. Its also funny that Dominica has low cases but has a surplus of vaccine while other places its the opposite. we even have options.

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