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Vaccine Approval Looks Imminent, But Distrust, Misinformation Have Experts Worried

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WHITE OAK, MD - JULY 20: A sign for the Food And Drug Administration is seen outside of the headquarters on July 20, 2020 in White Oak, Maryland. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration could vote as soon as Thursday to approve a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer for emergency use authorization in the United States.

Speaking to NPR this week, FDA head Dr. Stephen Hahn reiterated the government’s commitment to vaccine safety. But public opinion polls suggest many Americans are still skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines, and misinformation about them has been spreading online.

Renee DiResta of the Stanford Internet Observatory tells NPR why misinformation often takes hold where people are not necessarily looking for it.

NPR’s Adrian Florido reports public health experts are worried that Latinos and African Americans — communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 — may be less likely to get vaccinated.

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Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

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