Scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that the vaccines against COVID-19 that are being administered in the U.S. are effective and safe, yet misinformation about the vaccines is being shared so widely in Maine  through social media sites and WhatsApp that some people watching the videoclips could conclude it is best not to get vaccinated.

The information that is circulating directly contradicts information from the Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. The videoclips appear to target vulnerable immigrant populations – they depict Africans claiming to have medical degrees and wearing lab coats who directly attack the safety of the vaccines in French or other languages.

COVID-19 cases continue to be far more prevalent in communities of color than among white people in Maine. Through February 10, there were 11,566 cases per 100K in Black or African American people in Maine, and only 2,561 cases in whites. Black or African American Mainers account for less than 2% of the population.

Given the new variant that has been detected in Maine, extreme caution on the part of the public is urged. The U.S. Center for Disease Control is recommending double masking. Double masking increases protection by 90%. The suggestion is for a surgical mask to be worn under another mask. Masks should be tight-fitting.