LDH pushes back on COVID-19 'misinformation' at hearing Monday

Posted at 1:24 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 14:24:14-05

The Louisiana Department of Health pushed back against COVID-19 misinformation in Monday's Louisiana House Committee on Health and Welfare.

The Louisiana Department of Health says they continue to move through the process of adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the School Immunization schedule. This proposed rule is being promulgated through the normal, deliberate and transparent rule-making process, they say.

Monday’s legislative hearing was the next step in that process - and LDH welcomed the members’ questions and the opportunity to clarify misinformation.

During the hearing, LDH spoke about disinformation being spread concerning COVID-19.

“The intentional spread of health disinformation is especially dangerous during a pandemic because it confuses and can mislead families who have legitimate questions,” said State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter. “The Louisiana Department of Health is committed and will continue to share the facts but we alone can’t win the fight against dis- and misinformation. To do so will take all of us – and it starts with us demanding better. Many of us spread misinformation unintentionally; we are trying to inform others who don’t realize the information is false. If you’re not sure, don’t share.”

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has warned that health misinformation poses a grave threat to our nation and is costing U.S. lives during the pandemic.

Dr. Joseph Kanter’s opening statement to the House Committee is included below.

A few key facts:

  • LDH is proposing for the COVID-19 vaccine to be added to the School Immunization Schedule only for ages which have received full licensure and approval from the FDA, which currently is ages 16 and up. Full licensure and approval from the FDA signify the very highest endorsement of safety and efficacy from the U.S. government.
  • Louisiana law allows parents to easily exempt their child from a vaccine on the Immunization Schedule by simply claiming a medical, religious or personal/philosophical exemption. If COVID-19 is added to the schedule parents will be easily able to exempt their children from this vaccine as well.
  • No one is immune to COVID-19 and its severe outcomes, including children. Over 25% of COVID-19 infections in Louisiana have been in children, resulting in 18 deaths and over 275 cases of Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

For Dr. Kanter's full statement Monday can beread here

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