How to get trustworthy information about vaccines

Beware of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and immunisation on social media and other sources.

COVID-19 vaccine scams

Scammers will use any opportunity to try to trick and manipulate you into giving out your personal or financial details, especially through email and SMS scams. 

We will never ask you to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine or to secure your place in a queue. If you are asked — by email or SMS, for example — it's probably a scam.

If you are aware of a COVID-19 vaccine-related scam, report it to CERT NZ.

Report a COVID-19 vaccine scam to CERT NZ(external link) (external link)

How to know if what you're reading is reliable

There’s a lot of information on social media — it’s overwhelming and hard to know what’s reliable.

Here are 5 tips to help you make sure what you read online is from a reliable source:

1. Understand the publisher

Anyone on the internet can publish anything they like. It's important to understand the goals of that publication. You can often learn about a website's background by reviewing its 'About' page.

2. Check the sources

The sources of an article are a strong reflection of an article's quality. If the article doesn't list sources, ask yourself — where is this information coming from? If the article does list sources, check them and make sure you believe they are authoritative.

3. Check the date

You can usually find this at the top or bottom of the page. Recently written articles are more likely to be trustworthy than outdated articles.

4. Check grammar and spelling

Poor grammar and multiple spelling mistakes could be a flag that the information you are reading is not trustworthy.

5. Check the site design

Reputable publishers put a lot of effort into making sure their articles are easy to read. If the page you are on has advertising that blocks you from reading the article, or formatting that makes it difficult to read, then those are signs the publication is not trustworthy.

Where to find the facts online

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health leads New Zealand’s health and disability system, and has overall responsibility for the management and development of that system.

COVID-19 vaccine information from the Ministry of Health (external link)

Immunisation information from the Ministry of Health (external link)

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC)

IMAC is a nationwide organisation based at the School of Population Health at The University of Auckland. It provides independent, factual information based on international and New Zealand scientific research about vaccine-preventable diseases the benefits and risks of immunisation.

The Immunisation Advisory Centre (external link)

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is an agency of the United Nations, and is responsible for international public health.

Vaccine information from WHO (external link)

Misinformation and scams

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