Misinformation is undermining door-to-door COVID vaccine outreach effort. Here’s how it really works

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Credit: Allison Minto
Credit: Allison Minto

For local groups working to get people vaccinated, door-knocking and neighborhood canvassing have been a key tool in reaching people who have not already sought out the vaccine.

Most important, public health workers say, such visits provide a one-on-one opportunity to answer people’s questions, debunk misinformation about the vaccines, and address individual concerns.

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“Door-to-door works,” said Ann Cunningham, who has organized vaccination efforts in Coatesville and knocked on doors to let people know about nearby mobile vaccination clinics. “People are afraid, and the easy answers are coming from online misinformation and fearmongering and conspiracy theories. To be able to break through that with a face-to-face conversation is critical.”

It also can “combat the idea that ‘The government is telling me to do this,’” she added. “No, people who understand science are encouraging you to make a decision that is informed by facts.”

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