Despite empirical data and trials showing that the various COVID-19 vaccines available are safe and effective, there’s still a lot of vaccine misinformation out there. Of course, certain groups have always spread vaccine misinformation, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, we see that amplified on a global scale. The misinformation campaigns have become so widespread that now we’re even seeing Xbox – a brand that has nothing to do with medicine or epidemiology – push back against them.
Microsoft got the weekend started with an attempt to combat vaccine misinformation on multiple fronts. Not only did the company host a Q&A session with CDC deputy director for infectious diseases Dr. Jay Butler and CDC Foundation president and CEO Dr. Judy Moore on the Xbox Twitch channel, but shortly afterward, it took to Twitter to post the multi-tweet thread you see below.
“The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant. As it stands, unvaccinated people are most at risk to contract and spread the virus,” one tweet read, noting that this surge in COVID-19 cases is largely driven by the unvaccinated.
“To dispel some common COVID-19 vaccine myths: the vaccines don’t contain microchips or magnets, they don’t alter your DNA, they don’t give you COVID-19, and there is no evidence they have any impact on pregnancy or fertility,” another tweet said, with a follow-up pointing out that “no severe side effects linked to long-term health problems” have been detected in the people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Indeed, history tells us that when there are side effects associated vaccines, they appear within two months after vaccination and not beyond that window.
It’s a pretty encouraging thing to see Microsoft using its vast platform to promote the data we have on these vaccines. Whether or not it’ll be enough to sway anyone who is already hesitant about these vaccines is another question entirely, but having Microsoft contribute the far reach of the Xbox brand to the effort certainly can’t hurt.