The video-sharing platform gave examples of content falsely claiming the coronavirus vaccine is dangerous or causes chronic health issues; claims that the vaccine causes autism; claims that the vaccine does not reduce transmission of COVID-19; claims that the vaccine causes infertility and so on.
"Working closely with health authorities, we looked to balance our commitment to an open platform with the need to remove egregious harmful content," YouTube said in a Wednesday statement posted to its blog. "We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we're now at a point where it's more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines."
YouTube added that the new policy was enacted to "not only cover specific routine immunizations like for measles or Hepatitis B, but also apply to general statements about vaccines."
"Personal testimonials relating to vaccines will also be allowed, so long as the video doesn't violate other Community Guidelines, or the channel doesn't show a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy," the company's blog post read.
As of Monday, there were more than 77,000 people hospitalized with the virus across the country — an 11.3% decrease compared to the last calendar week — and there are 1,595 new COVID-19 deaths being reported every day over the last seven days — a 2.2% increase compared to the last calendar week.
More than 55% of the entire U.S. population have received both vaccine doses, while more than 64% have received at least the first dose, but the government and private entities like Google have made efforts to stop misinformation about the vaccine online.
Studies have shown that the Moderna vaccine has a more than 90% efficacy rate in preventing COVID-19 six months after a person receives their initial doses and that Pfizer's vaccine has a more than 80% efficacy rate over the same time period.
In June, 99.5% of all COVID-19 deaths were of unvaccinated people. There have been a total of 14,115 U.S. deaths as a result of breakthrough cases, or COVID-19 cases that occurred in vaccinated individuals, and 70% of those vaccinated individuals were older than 65. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted that no COVID-19 vaccine is 100% effective against the virus.
The CDC has also reported two serious yet rare side effects of the vaccine, anaphylaxis, which can be treated immediately, and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), which occurred in seven out of 1 million women under 50 who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.