On Tuesday, Alphabet’s YouTube announced that 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 company said in a statement that 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).
Misinformation and conspiracy theories about the new coronavirus vaccines have increased on social media, including through anti-vaccine personalities on YouTube and viral videos shared across multiple platforms.
A study conducted in the United States and Britain last week found that 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.
YouTube said in October that 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. On Monday, Moderna announced its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 94.5 percent effective based on interim data from late-stage trials. Pfizer said last week that its vaccine was shown to be more than 90 percent effective.