PAHO Launches Fact-checking Guide for Journalists

21 Oct 2022
Journalistwith a microphone in hand in front of a camara

Washington, DC, 21 October 2022 (PAHO)- The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has launched a guide that offers journalists tips for verifying information about COVID-19 vaccines. The guide can be applied to various health topics.

Recommendations for verifying information about COVID-19 vaccines: A guide for journalists offers tools for media workers to communicate responsibly and provide evidence-based information during current and future health emergencies.

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been the biggest campaign in history but misinformation has undermined many people's trust in vaccines and has affected their decision to get vaccinated. In Latin America and the Caribbean, 70% of the population have completed their COVID-19 vaccination schedule but over 210 million people have not yet received a single dose.

"Journalists are partners in improving people's health and they play an important role in transmitting health information in a clear, truthful, responsible, and timely manner," said the chief of PAHO's Immunization unit, Daniel Salas, during a webinar that presented the guide.

Dr. Salas highlighted the key role journalists play in countering misinformation and disinformation and reducing the spread of rumors, as well as the impact they can have on people's health decisions.

The guide offers valuable recommendations on how to combat misinformation, presents the most common fake news about COVID-19 vaccines that has circulated in Latin America, and presents evidence to the contrary, as well as suggestions on how to address and debunk fake news.

Recommendations for verifying information about COVID-19 vaccines; A guide for journalists is based on the work of Chequeado and on materials from the Argentine Society of Vaccinology and Epidemiology, PAHO/WHO, and First Draft.