Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 06, 2021 (SKNIS): Today’s safe and effective vaccines are the way out of the COVID-19 Pandemic, yet the extent of misinformation and disinformation around them has been significant. As such, Dr. Cuthbert Sebastian Jr., Emergency Room Physician at the Joseph Nathaniel France (JNF) General Hospital, encouraged the general public to always use reliable sources.
Regarding information on COVID-19, Dr. Sebastian Jr. advised people to visit the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) websites for reliable and up-to-date information.
“I usually tell them to go to the World Health Organization as a good source of information, reason being is, it is a non-biased source of information, it is not for any one country, it is an organization just focused on health and I think that is the most important topic of the day especially in the times of the pandemic and that is where I advise people to go,” said Dr. Sebastian Jr. “There is also CARPHA. They are going to give you some good information as well. These would be the two websites I would recommend individuals to go and look for themselves and see what is going on.”
Additionally, persons are also encouraged to visit the local Ministry of Health Facebook page for reliable and credible information. Dr. Sebastian Jr. does not encourage anyone to visit science-oriented websites “because that type of information may be misinterpreted or misunderstood if you are not trained to understand it.”
He noted that although he gathers information from reliable sources, he always backchecks to make sure the information he is receiving is credible.
“Regarding all of the information people are receiving, whether it is disinformation or misinformation, or the right information, and I know there is a lot of information coming your way, even I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information coming my way I always try to align myself with sources that I know are reliable and even if I think this source is reliable I always backcheck with another reliable source that I know. This is a way that I can weed out misinformation and disinformation,” said Dr. Sebastian Jr.
Dr. Sebastian Jr. referred to a news headline from CNN with a statement from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, when he checked CDC’s website there was no information regarding what was seen on CNN.
“So, you have to be careful even with the reputable sources that you may come across that there may be some disinformation or misinformation on them. It is always good to backcheck,” he said. “And you have to remember that social media, for example, anyone can post anything on social media, and they can do a lot of damage with that.”