Struggling with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the US, Mississippi health officials move to block social media misinformation

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Credit: Oliver Douliery/Getty Images
Credit: Oliver Douliery/Getty Images

The Mississippi State Department of Health is now blocking comments on its Facebook posts that relate to COVID-19 because of a “rise of misinformation” about the virus and vaccinations, a health official said.

“The comments section of our Facebook page has increasingly come to be dominated by misinformation about COVID-19,” state health department spokesperson Liz Sharlot said in a statement.

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Only about 31% of Mississippians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, a statistic that ranks near the bottom of U.S. states.

The Department of Health posts multiple times each day on its Facebook page about COVID-19. Posts include information on numbers of new coronavirus cases in the state, details on pop-up vaccination clinics and transportation services to vaccination clinics for homebound residents.

Sharlot said the comments will be back when the department has “the resources to effectively curb misleading, harmful and off-topic commentary that disserves the public.” Federal regulators have said the vaccines are safe and offer strong protection against contracting the potentially life-threatening disease.

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