"Ridiculous": Vaccine myths cripple U.S. uptake as Delta surges

The excuses range from the merely false to the absurd. The shots don’t work. They impair fertility. They’ll alter your DNA. They’ll magnetize you. They actually spread the virus.

Unvaccinated Americans cite a litany of myths to explain their hesitance to get shots, confounding local health officials battling yet another surge of coronavirus cases fueled by the more transmissible delta variant. Inside the White House, the concern is so acute that President Joe Biden has publicly lashed out at Facebook Inc. for helping to spread disinformation.

“Everything from Bill Gates putting a microchip in it — I’ve heard everything. It’s ridiculous,” said Tom Keller, chief executive officer of Ozarks Health Care in southern Missouri, a region with low vaccination rates that’s an epicenter of the U.S. delta outbreak.

“People are listening to social media instead of listening to their docs,” he said. “Somebody who has a million followers all of the sudden becomes the expert on not getting the vaccine.”