COVID-19 misinformation contributed to 2,800 Canadian deaths, report suggests

By Nicole Ireland

A new report says misinformation about COVID-19 contributed to more than 2,800 Canadian deaths and at least $300 million in hospital and ICU visits.

The Council of Canadian Academies says misinformation led to people not believing COVID-19 was real or was exaggerated, fostering vaccine hesitancy.

The report estimates that vaccine hesitancy affected more than 2.35 million people between March and November 2021.

It says if those people hadn’t delayed or refused vaccination, deaths and hospitalizations could have been avoided.

The report only looked at that nine-month period during the pandemic, which has so far lasted for about three years.

The Council of Canadian Academies is a not-for-profit organization that examines evidence on complex science topics of public interest.