U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was in the Pacific Northwest Wednesday to highlight the measles outbreak.
Adams was joined by Cerise Wilson, a Vancouver mother who had been hesitant to vaccinate her 15-month-old son, based on advice from friends and information she’d found online. Misinformation on the internet was a focus of the Surgeon General’s visit.
“We are working with Facebook and Google – we’re expecting an announcement from Facebook this week about efforts they’re making to try to help get the correct and accurate information out there,” Adams said.
Wilson said Wednesday she recently got her son all of his shots because her doctor took time to explain them to her.
Adams suggested that by working with tech companies, more accurate information can proliferate, helping parents make better decisions for their children.
“When someone’s looking for something and the first three pages that they get are all misinformation, versus if the first three pages are accurate information and it’s not until you get to the fourth page that you get to the misinformation,” Adams said. “Then it does change how people process that information and how they rank it in terms of influence.”
Adams said vaccinations in Clark County have increased 400 percent so far this year, amid the measles outbreak.
Out of the 70 measles cases in Clark County, 61 involved people who had not been immunized.