Homeland Security warning for NJ residents about vaccine disinformation
As New Jersey residents continue to scramble for COVID-19 vaccinations, they’re being warned about a vaccine disinformation campaign online.
Jared Maples, the director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, said falsehoods about vaccine dangers are popping up.
“One is that the vaccinations will cause death, another is they will cause sterilization of certain communities,” he said. “We’ve seen that it will alter your DNA.”
He said there have been a number of “different tropes and falsehoods out there that quite frankly are turning the community at least to be more skeptical of the vaccinations, which, they’re just not true and they’re causing issues throughout the state.”
“It really illustrates the need for people to think critically when they see something online or hear something and not push that false narrative along," he said.
Maples said a variety of “bad actors” are responsible for spreading the lies and myths, including individuals from other countries trying to sow seeds of discord, people who are mentally unstable and "extremist actors" who are trying "to cause chaos and discontent and concern throughout our citizenry."
He said these efforts could "a homeland security issue.”
“we need our folks to get vaccinated," he said. "We can get the economy and the country and schools and everything back on their feet and that’s why it’s important.”
He said to make sure everyone is clear about the myths and falsehoods that are circulating, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness has a misinformation and disinformation portal on its website.
“If you hear something that just seems off, like this vaccine program killing you, for example, you need to come to the right resources and places to get that information from," he said.
You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.