Information about the coronavirus can sometimes be confusing and misleading.
There is so much mixed information out there about the coronavirus and how to protect oneself against it. There are a multitude of conflicting opinions, in particular, in the medical community and those closest to instituting disease prevention practices – especially with regards to whether or not the vaccine is effective.
“The Center for Disease Control and the Indiana State [Department] of Health are giving you very bad scientific guidance,” said Daniel Stock, MD, a primary care physician with a concierge practice in Noblesville, Indiana. The doctor described himself as “a functional family medicine physician,” although he is not officially board certified.
Stock believes that COVID-19 vaccinations are doing more harm than good because they “make coronavirus infections worse.” He’s alleged his treatment of “over 15 COVID-19 patients with vitamin D, ivermectin, and zinc” has kept them out of the hospital. He also stated that this cocktail reduces the mortality risk “by 75%.” The doctor shared his findings despite a study that was released in August finding that ivermectin is an ineffective treatment option.
In response, the state health department issued a statement reaffirming that “COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.” But by then, the YouTube video of Stock’s comments had gone viral. The result is that there is greater political divide among those who are for, and those against, getting the vaccine.
Officials are scrambling to address public statements such as Stock’s which spread confusing misinformation about the effectiveness of the vaccine and supposed alternative, holistic treatments. The breadth of conflicting information is on the rise, which makes it difficult for Americans to determine what they feel is the best course of action. Because of this, many are opting to stay unvaccinated, which leaves them at risk of contracting the deadly virus and having significant symptoms that can be life-threatening.
People in the medical community accused of spreading false information include public officials such as Scott Atlas, MD, who served as President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 advisor, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, whose YouTube account was temporarily suspended in August.
“That’s the problem. Those types of viral videos of someone somewhere who thinks they know something the rest of us don’t,” said Jennifer Bryan, MD, board chair of the Mississippi State Medical Association. “I don’t know any good reason why a physician should be advising against vaccination. It’s appropriate for medical boards to look into those situations.”
A new Associated Press (AP)-NORC poll shows anxiety in the United States over COVID-19 is at its highest level since winter and this is primarily due to news of the Delta variant and the adoption of new policies in states and school districts. Hospitals are also filling once again to max capacity. In late June, the number of reported cases week-to-week, according to the CDC, was around 12,000. On July 27, this average increased to over 60,000.
The CDC recommends all people ages 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant, or who might become pregnant in the future, get vaccinated against COVID-19.