Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook will ban anti-vaccine ads in an effort to combat misinformation and support public health experts, the social media platform announced in a statement on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The company now says it doesn't want these ads on its platform, but the policy does not apply to influencers who experts say drive a significant amount of organic misinformation about vaccines.

What they're saying: "Our goal is to help messages about the safety and efficacy of vaccines reach a broad group of people, while prohibiting ads with misinformation that could harm public health efforts," the social media platform said.

  • "We already don’t allow ads with vaccine hoaxes that have been publicly identified by leading global health organizations."
  • "Now, if an ad explicitly discourages someone from getting a vaccine, we’ll reject it. Enforcement will begin over the next few days."
  • "Ads that advocate for or against legislation or government policies around vaccines — including a COVID-19 vaccine — are still allowed."

The big picture: Americans' willingness to get a coronavirus vaccine dropped to 50% in late September, a dramatic 11-point fall from the previous month, according to the latest Gallup poll.

  • Public health experts say that mass distribution of the coronavirus vaccine will be the most important step toward a return to pre-COVID-19 normalcy.

Go deeper: Facebook bans Holocaust denial on its platform

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.
14 hours ago - Health

Halloween and COVID-19: What you need to know

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Celebrating Halloween and Día de los Muertos will be difficult and more isolated this year, but can still be done while minimizing harm to others.

Why it matters: Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, indoor parties, haunted houses, crowded cemeteries and communal candy bowls are all considered high-risk activities by the CDC.

11 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

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