COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation & Scams

Getting vaccinated is a personal choice that everyone will make to
protect themselves and their whānau. Get the facts to the make the right decision for you.

Accurate and reliable information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine
rollout in Aotearoa can be found at the below sources:

• Ministry of Health — Health.govt.nz
• Unite Against COVID-19 — Covid19.govt.nz
• This Hawke's Bay DHB website hbcovidvaccine.nz or other local District Health Boards (DHBs) — A full list of DHB websites is available by searching ‘district health boards’ on Ministry of Health main website as above
• Trusted information in te reo Māori and English can be found at Karawhiua.nz
• Your GP, pharmacist, iwi health provider or other health professional.

Resources and information detailing aspects of the vaccine and the roll out can be found on the above websites and social media networks of these sources.

Misleading information may not be obvious. Use reliable sources to double check the facts.

 

The following information is provided by CERT NZ:

You may come across misinformation or scams about the COVID-19 vaccine. Phishing emails, scam phone calls and scam texts imitate legitimate businesses. It is likely that scammers will attempt to use the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to trick people into sharing personal and financial data so please remember: 

  • The COVID-19 vaccine is FREE for everyone in New Zealand over 12. You will never be asked to pay for the vaccine or pay to secure your place in the queue
  • Official information about the vaccine will come from a trusted provider of health content, such as the Ministry of Health, Unite Against COVID-19 or your District Health Board
  • You will never be asked for personal information via text or email. If you see it, report it to CERT NZ and do not reply to the message
  • If you receive an email, phone call or SMS asking for financial details in regards to the vaccine it will be a scam. Report it to CERT NZ immediately
  • A health worker will never come to your home to give you the vaccine, unless arranged with you beforehand.

If you see something about the vaccine that doesn’t seem right, report it to CERT NZ:

Report a scam to CERT NZ(external link)

Alternatively you can call them on 0800 237 869.

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccine scams(external link)

Misinformation on Social Media:

You can report what you believe to be false or misleading information on social media to the respective social media platform e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc. These platforms will have buttons or forms in which you can report this information.


Facebook — Facebook.com/help
Twitter — Help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies
Instagram — Help.instagram.com
TikTok — Support.tiktok.com

 

FAQs: 

What are the different kinds of false and misleading information?

• Misinformation — false but not created with the intention of causing harm (e.g. misleading vaccine information shared with good intent).
• Disinformation — false and deliberately created to harm (e.g. ideologies and theories purposely giving misleading or dated vaccine information).
• Malinformation — based on reality, but is used to inflict harm on a person, organisation or country (e.g. leaks of private information that has been changed).
• Scams — based on reality, but seek to extort information and/or money (e.g. advertising advising of early access to vaccination for a fee).

Why do people or organisations try to spread false or misleading information?

Not all false information is spread on purpose but some is. Their aim may be to cause confusion and division and undermine our ability to respond to COVID-19 by taking advantage or people’s concerns or questions of the COVID-19 vaccine — sometimes for financial gain.


How is false and misleading information being spread?

Organisations or people post online, hand out leaflets or verbally share
or communicate false or misleading information in other ways.

We are seeing false or misleading information spreading in our communities, what do we do about it?

If there is a growing concern about specific false or misleading information undermining the COVID-19 response then raise it to CERT NZ and give as much detail as possible. They will ensure that it is passed on to the appropriate agency.


What is the impact of false or misleading information spreading?

There are many false and misleading news stories related to medical treatments including COVID-19 vaccines. Trusting these false stories could lead you to make decisions that may be harmful to your health and the health of your whānau.