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YouTube to add link on COVID-19 vaccines to combat misinformation

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Alphabet Inc’s YouTube announced it is adding a link to provide information on the development of COVID-19 vaccines to the coronavirus panel on its site, expanding its efforts to combat misinformation related to the pandemic.

The link will send users directly to authoritative COVID-19 vaccine information from a third-party source like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization (WHO), the company said in a statement.

Conspiracy theories and misinformation about the new coronavirus vaccines have proliferated on social media, including through anti-vaccine personalities on YouTube and viral videos shared across multiple platforms.

Last week, a study conducted in the United States and Britain found conspiracy theories and misinformation fuel mistrust in vaccines and could push levels that potential COVID-19 vaccines are taken below the rates needed to protect communities against the disease.

In October, the video platform said it would remove videos containing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, and ban any content with claims that contradict consensus from local health authorities or the WHO.

YouTube’s move on Tuesday follows promising results from two major vaccine efforts. Moderna Inc said on Monday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 94.5% effective based on interim data from late-stage trials. Last week, Pfizer Inc said its vaccine was shown to be more than 90% effective. 

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