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Doctors spreading misinformation about COVID vaccine in trouble?

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama health leaders said one of the biggest problems for getting more people vaccinated is misinformation, but the problem becomes greater when it comes from doctors.

Alabama health leaders said there are doctors out there who are spreading misinformation about the COVID vaccines. It’s a small number but it’s a problem. While most may not face any sort of penalty some could risk losing their medical license.

Back in July the Federation of State Medical Board’s board of directors released a statement warning doctors could face losing their licenses for spreading misinformation about COVID.

The statement was in response to an increase in vaccine misinformation in the country.

“We know well over 95% probably closer to 99% of doctors in America who have been offered the shots have taken the shots. I know there are doctors out there who have said otherwise,” Dr. Scott Harris, State Health Officer, ADPH said.

The Mississippi State of Board of Medical Licensure also sent out warnings about misinformation about COVID. Doctors are told they have an ethical responsibility to protect their patients.

“Doctors are not a homogenous group. There are different levels of training and expertise. There is no question there are times people’s political beliefs play into those sorts of things. That doesn’t happen often, but it does happen sometimes,” Harris said.

Despite the warnings it’s difficult for licensure boards to investigate all that is being said on social media or in a doctor’s office. Health leaders said it will be difficult to punish any number of doctors who may be spreading misinformation.

“What we hope is all medical providers will look at the best available medical evidence. The results are pretty clear. Most everybody needs to be vaccinated,” Harris said.

The Mississippi Board said misinformation erodes the public’s trust in the medical profession and puts the public at risk. Doctors could face suspension or lose of their medical license. It’s the Medical Boards responsibility to investigate these allegations. Dr. Harris said it is not the Alabama Department of Public Health.

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