Social media misinformation is helping fuel vaccine hesitancy in the Rio Grande Valley, health experts say

Doctors across the Rio Grande Valley say misinformation on social media is getting in the way of everyone getting vaccinated.

“What I’m seeing is patients reading something online that either sounds too good to be true, or just fantastical thinking, and it’s interfering with them following the science based guidelines,” said Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo.

One of the concerns is that the unscientific posts are showing up right next to vetted, tested and peer- reviewed ones.

“Social media allows you to bypass that whole process and put out information that appears right next to or sometimes, ahead of that type of well-reviewed data,” Castillo said.

A big concern is that Rio Grande Valley residents are already skeptical about getting the vaccine, will read the misinformation and opt out.

Channel 5 News wants to clear up the top three myths circulating on social media right now:

1. No, the vaccine can’t make you sterile.

“That’s completely fabricated, made up,” Castillo said. “It’s not seen in any of the data and it just doesn’t make sense.”

2. No, the vaccine doesn’t change your DNA.

“False, the vaccine doesn’t interfere with a person’s DNA,” Castillo said. “The two vaccines on the market right now use something called messenger RNA, that’s been studied for many years.”

3. No, there isn’t a microchip being injected into your body along with the vaccine.

“False, there’s no nano-technology or chip in the injection, the ingredients are available to view,” Castillo said. 

Watch the video for the full story.