Local health board declares public health crisis over vaccine misinformation

Sep 21, 2021, 4:08 PM | Updated: 4:17 pm
Unvaccinated, misinformation...
Anti-vaccination activists protest the proof of vaccination requirement to get into a show at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

The Jefferson County Board of Health voted last week to declare a public health crisis over pandemic-related misinformation.

‘Huge public health payoff’ if Facebook banned vaccine misinformation

The board’s resolution was inspired by a recent statement from U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, where he urged “all Americans to help slow the spread of health misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”

“Health misinformation is a serious threat to public health,” Dr. Murthy’s statement reads. “It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts. Limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort.”

In Jefferson County, the Board of Health warns of a “healthcare system at the breaking point,” driven by staff shortages, overwhelmed emergency facilities, and increased COVID-related hospitalizations.

“Our public health services are stretched to the point where we can barely perform the best-practice COVID-19 case and contact tracing and follow-up,” the board’s resolution lays out.

The resolution goes on to praise Jefferson and Clallam County Health Officer Dr. Allison Berry for a recently-implemented order requiring bars and restaurants to have customers provide proof of vaccination as a condition for entry.

Bogus COVID info may have sent thousands to hospitals

The board further pointed to how Dr. Berry has subsequently been a victim of “intimidation and threats of violence” from those opposed to her health order, all while misinformation surrounding the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine has continued to spread.

“There are some people in our community who are vaccine hesitant for a variety of reasons, most of which are fed by misinformation campaigns,” the resolution notes.

Local News

A pedestrian walks past a statue with a rain bonnet on its head in the Fremont neighborhood of Seat...
KIRO 7 News Staff

‘Atmospheric river’ to produce heavy rainfall across region

We’ll continue to see a few showers here and there, but most of us will be more dry than wet on Wednesday with most of the showers in the mountains.
10 hours ago
I-90 blocked, overturned semi-truck...
MyNorthwest Staff

All lanes of westbound I-90 through Seattle blocked by overturned semi-truck

An overturned semi-truck is block all lanes of westbound I-90 at Corwin Place South, just west of Rainier Avenue in Seattle. 
10 hours ago
Truck crash on SB I-5. (KTTH listener submitted photo)...
MyNorthwest Staff

Semi-truck collision on SB I-5 in Lynnwood clear after blocking three lanes

On the I-5 southbound on-ramp at 44th Avenue, there was a truck collision Tuesday that had been blocking the two right lanes.
1 day ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Investigation finds Pierce County Sheriff Troyer violated department standards

In an independent investigation, Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer has been found to have violated the department’s policies and standards.
1 day ago
Kim Wyman...
Nicole Jennings

Washington state GOP worried about state’s future as Kim Wyman leaves for Biden administration

As Secretary of State Kim Wyman announces she has taken a job with the Biden administration, the chair of the Republican Party is concerned.
1 day ago
stolen school bus...
MyNorthwest Staff

Man arrested in Seattle after stealing empty school bus, ramming vehicles

Seattle police arrested a man in the Central District on Tuesday after he stole an empty school bus and rammed it into other vehicles.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Local health board declares public health crisis over vaccine misinformation