COVID-19 misinformation: careless talk costs lives

There are sources of misinformation about COVID-19 circulating in the Wakefield district and across the rest of the UK.

It is important that residents only trust official sources of information to keep themselves and others safe. 

Vaccination

In the UK, the vaccines approved for use, have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Any vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks. 

If you want to learn more about the vaccinations, ensure that you are going to trusted sources for information and be aware of unofficial information circulating on social media and online.

You can find out more about the COVID-19 vaccines including safety, effectiveness and the ingredients contained in the vaccine, here.

COVID-19 rates 

There has been false information circulating about COVID-19 infection rates. For correct, up to date COVID-19 rates in Wakefield visit: www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/coronavirus-information/covid-19-weekly-data 

COVID-19 origins 

There have been false claims about the origins of the COVID-19. To learn about where COVID-19 came from, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-background-information/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-epidemiology-virology-and-clinical-features

Prevention and cure myths

False information about cures and ways to prevent catching COVID-19 is also in circulation.

There have been several fraudulent COVID-19 products sold claiming to cure the virus. These can come in many varieties, including dietary supplements and other foods. There are also fake products claiming to be medicines, medical devices and vaccines. 

For information on how to prevent catching COVID-19, visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/social-distancing/what-you-need-to-do/#prevention 

To keep safe, you must follow Government restrictions and guidelines. You can find out more here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

Self-Isolation Payments

Some of the district's residents are receiving phoney calls about claims for Self-Isolation Payments, which are asking for personal information. 

Claims for Self-Isolation Payments can only be made via our online form. Once we receive this form, if we require any further information from you, we will normally ask for this by e-mail. You will know the e-mail is from us as the e-mail address will end '…@wakefield.gov.uk'.

If we ever need to contact you by phone, our officers will give you their name. If you are in any doubt who you are speaking to, ask for their name and then call us back on 0345 8 504 504 and ask to speak to that officer.

Vaccine scam

Some people are receiving fraudulent calls and text messages offering the COVID-19 vaccination.

The scam tells recipients that they are eligible to apply for the vaccine with a link to a fake NHS website. The website asks for personal information and bank details for verification. 

The NHS will never:

  • Ask you for your bank account or card details
  • Ask you for your PIN or banking password
  • Arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • Ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport, driving licence, bills or payslips

What to do

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up the phone.

If you are suspicious about an email you have received, you can forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk.

Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge. 

Trusted official sources

If you want to learn more about COVID-19, only trust official sources:

For frequently asked questions about COVID-19, click here.

To find out more about the current national lockdown restrictions, visit www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home.