Someone has been distributing misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and one of the county’s top health officials said Thursday that it’s happening at a particularly bad time.
“We’re in a very critical time with respect to being able to preserve health and save lives,” Dr. George Askew, the chief administrative officer of the Prince George’s County Health Department, told WTOP.
“This kind of misinformation will further cause people to hesitate getting vaccinated at a time when the pandemic has turned into a pandemic of the unvaccinated. … The people who are dying from COVID now are overwhelmingly — overwhelmingly — people who have not been vaccinated.”
The flyers were found posted on every door in the high-rise Parkway Apartments building and littered the surrounding Temple Hills neighborhood. They contained unproven and disproven claims about the vaccines and about ways to supposedly beat COVID-19 with dietary changes and supplements.
“The vaccines went through significant testing among multiple different groups of people — different ethnicities, different sexes, genders, ages,” Askew said. “And again, it is the most effective means by which we can battle this virus, particularly in the advent of the delta virus.”
He added that no serious medical studies have shown that diet or supplements have anything to do with COVID-19, caused by a coronavirus.
And he said that the only thing for county authorities to do about such efforts is to keep fighting back with authentic information.
He reiterated that: “The vaccines are safe and effective; they will keep you out of the hospital, and they will keep you alive.”
WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.
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