Is that a fact?
Is that a fact?
May 19, 2021
Special: Is misinformation to blame for vaccine hesitancy?
Play • 38 min

In this special episode of Is that a fact? we explore why some people remain hesitant to get one of the COVID-19 vaccines, despite growing evidence that inoculation is the key to getting our lives and the economy back on track. We wanted to find out just how much misinformation might be to blame for that reluctance or if genuine concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines might be giving people pause.

To answer this question and more, we spoke with Dr. Erica Pan, the deputy director of the California Department of Public Health Center for Infectious Diseases and Brandy Zadrozny, a senior reporter for NBC News, who covers misinformation, extremism and the internet.

Dr. Pan has served as interim health officer and director of the Division of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at the Alameda County Public Health Department since 2011 and was director of public health emergency preparedness and response at the San Francisco Department of Public Health in 2011. She was also director of the Bioterrorism and Infectious Disease Emergencies Unit at the San Francisco Department of Public Health from 2004 to 2010 and was a medical epidemiologist trainee there from 2003 to 2004. Dr. Pan earned a Doctor of Medicine degree and a Master of Public Health degree from the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Before joining NBC News, Zadrozny was a senior researcher and writer at The Daily Beast for five years, where she broke stories about Russia’s Internet Research Agency, as well as President Donald Trump and some of his associates, but she started out as a teacher and librarian. 

For more information on combating COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, visit There you’ll find links to reliable sources of information on the virus and vaccines, articles addressing the full spectrum of vaccine hesitancy, sites that debunk many of the myths surrounding the shots and the virus and more.

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