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Local health experts warn of vaccine misinformation

Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-01 19:19:02-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It usually doesn’t take long; you scroll through Facebook and find a friend who has a link to a website.

It may look legit, and it may get a reaction out of you, but it also may be misinformation.

“If it makes you angry, it’s inflammatory, an objective site is not going to write like that,” said Anne O’Keefe, Senior Epidemiologist at the Douglas County Health Department.

O’Keefe says that one website of which folks should be especially wary is OpenVAERS.com.

The site, which is currently down due to an update, takes in open-sourced data reported about symptoms from the COVID vaccine. Something that is publicly available.

“The reason for that, is that, so we can capture really rare events,” said O’Keefe.

The issue is the site interprets the data as being verified, but much of that data has not been investigated.

“They are downloading the raw data from the VAERS site but they’re not interpreting it correctly and they’re misinterpreting it and miscommunicating the meaning of it,” said O’Keefe.

The health department recommends getting information from places like the CDC, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and other medical organizations, and to avoid getting health-related information on social media.

Visit the CDC VAERS website here.

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