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Health officials warn against misinformation about COVID-19 vaccinations

Misinformation on social media is a major concern for health officials as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Carolinas.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Concerns are growing about the rise in COVID-19 cases in the Carolinas, as the delta variant quickly spreads across the United States. 

In North Carolina, the state is averaging nearly 1,000 new cases per day. About 56% of the population is fully vaccinated, and 60% of adults have gotten at least one dose, Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday. 

In South Carolina, health officials are reporting about 230 new cases in the latest report. Vaccinations are lagging behind in the Palmetto State, where less than 45% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. On Wednesday, South Carolina reported a total of 714 new cases, the highest total since the end of April.

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Now, health leaders continue to drive home the importance of vaccinations and getting people to listen to the right information about vaccines. In particular, misinformation on social media has convinced many people the shots aren't safe or will lead to harmful side effects. 

RELATED: Biden: Social media platforms 'killing people' with misinformation

"Rely on DHEC (Department of Health and Environmental Control) and other scientific and medical organizations for information," said Dr. Brannon Traxler, South Carolina's public health director. "Please go to the site and talk with nurses and doctors who dedicate themselves to public health."

Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary for North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services echoed those comments during a news conference Wednesday. 

"It's really important that people are getting that accurate information from trusted sources, so get your information from DHHS, from the CDC and from trusted academic sources."

RELATED: I'm vaccinated against COVID-19 but I tested positive for the virus. What now?

Contact Richard DeVayne at rdevayne@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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