The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors today unanimously voted in favor of a resolution declaring COVID-19 misinformation an urgent public health crisis and directing County staff to take steps to combat it.
County staff was directed to “actively correct vaccine myths and other falsehoods being purveyed in public discourse,” according to Supervisor John Gioia, who sponsored the resolution along with Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.
“Vaccine and COVID-19 misinformation is directly responsible for limiting vaccination rates and allowing this pandemic to unnecessarily harm residents, especially those in communities of color,” Gioia said. “Equity in public health is my highest priority, and misinformation is especially dangerous because it ultimately harms the most vulnerable.”
The resolution states, “Contra Costa Health Services will continue to share facts and scientific information about COVID-19, to correct misinformation including vaccine myths, to identify and give a platform to culturally relevant medical experts and trusted messengers, to respond to questions and requests for information on social media, and to work with our media and community partners to reach a broad audience with factual, timely information.”
More than 87 percent of County residents over 12 years old have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 82 percent, over 826,000 people, are fully vaccinated, according to Gioia’s Office, which credited the County for being a leader in public safety protocols, including vaccine distribution, during the pandemic.