People around the world died because they didn’t get COVID-19 vaccinations.

A sea of anti-vaccine misinformation contributed to the problem, from rumor-mongering about the shots causing mass death to propaganda touting the benefits of ivermectin. Public health officials seemed powerless to stem the tide of lies. One of the big challenges public health officials now face is how to restore trust so that people listen to future guidance on everything from flu shots to childhood vaccines.

But a new study on COVID-19 misinformation, published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, makes it clear that doctors and public health experts have some way to go in figuring out how to do that. Overdiagnosing "misinformation” — as the study does — will do more harm than good.