Finding reliable information on the COVID-19 vaccines can be difficult, and many contradicting opinions can often feel overwhelming. Carefully choosing your sources to get information is the best way to ensure accuracy. Some things to consider when choosing are:
Assess the source – Do they mention the author? If so, are they real and credible? For social media, check for fake accounts/how long they have been active and if they link to facts rather than stating an opinion. For websites, check the “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages for background information and details. Other clues that a source may be unreliable are poor spelling and grammar and unprofessional visual design.
Go beyond the headlines – Often, headlines are worded sensationally or provocatively in an effort to garner a high number of clicks (click-baiting). Read further into the article to be informed on the entire context/sense of the headline. Also, look for similar information on other platforms (don’t just look for confirmation on social media), as diversifying your sources allow you to get a better picture of what is or is not trustworthy.
Check the date – Make sure the information you are reading is current and up to date as situations and research evolve. By ensuring your information was published recently, you get the most accurate information given the current facts and science.
Examine the supporting evidence – Credible sources will back up their claims/opinions with facts. They will also provide links to their facts. That way, anyone can independently access the facts themselves.
It’s human nature to seek information about this unfolding public health crisis, but we must all take the proper steps to get the right information. Only together can we stop the spread of misinformation.
Below are several resources on COVID-19 with news and information from reliable sources, including the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, and the health research communities.
Government of Ontario: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-ontario
World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/covid-19-vaccines
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/index.html