October 20, 2021

Misinformation is a key driver of vaccine hesitancy.


Businesses can counter its disruptive effects by sharing vaccine facts and carefully responding to rumors and misinformation in the workplace.

COVID-19 has triggered two parallel pandemics: a biological one and a social pandemic of misinformation, rapidly spreading across social networks, online platforms, and other spaces where people gather. Despite enacting broad new policies to flag or remove millions of pieces of COVID-19 misinformation, social media platforms aren't able to keep pace with the rapid spread of vaccine falsehoods.

The danger of vaccine misinformation goes beyond sharing patently false claims. A recent NPR analysis illustrates how bad actors are turning to cherry-picked truths to drive misleading narratives. Experts warn that these storylines are much harder for social media companies to moderate, though they can have the same net effect of distorting views or hardening hesitancy about vaccines.

Combating misinformation is key for building vaccine confidence, especially amongst workforce populations that may be more likely to believe and share falsehoods. Below, we’ve compiled four strategies to combat misinformation in your workplace and help your employees distinguish between vaccine myths and facts.

Protecting Your Workforce from Vaccine Misinformation

Keep current on what misinformation is circulating.

Our partners, the Public Health Communications Collaborative, are tracking a broad range of COVID-19 misinformation, and their Misinformation Alerts Tracker offers expert guidance on how you can counter the spread of dangerous vaccine misinformation in your workplace.

Prepare for sensitive workplace conversations.

Our guide to Responding to Sensitive Questions and Misinformation offers sample language you can use or adapt to address misinformation or employee rumors, and our COVID-19 Myths and Facts tip sheet provides trusted guidance from health experts to combat and correct stubborn mistruths about getting vaccinated.

Create a safe space for employee questions.

As you roll-out COVID-19 vaccination communications, make sure you have a mechanism to receive questions and feedback directly from employees in real time so you can quickly address questions and put rumors to rest. Our Quick Start Guide can help get you started developing a vaccine education plan.  

Use multiple channels to reach employees.

Kaiser Permanente recently launched a COVID-19 Myths and Facts database that includes short, shareable videos, tackling some of the most persistent and damaging myths about vaccination. By connecting with your workers through both text and video, you maximize the chance to bust persistent vaccine falsehoods.