The emergence of the COVID-19 vaccine “infodemic” has slowed the ability for nations around the world to emerge out of the public health crisis.

Growing cynicism among some health citizens facing the politicization of public health tactics like vaccines and facial masks is what we’re talking about. At the root is peoples’ lack of trust across a range of information providers, including government, media, business, and even peers.

The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer spotlighted the infodemic and eroding trust in the U.S. in the voices of public health, the public sector, and media. This is a global challenge as well, which the first bar chart illustrates. But the U.S. has one of the largest gaps in “information hygiene” in the world between people with good info hygiene — defined as people who say they will take the COVID-19 vaccine within a year — and those folks who won’t get the jab.

Most industries operating in the U.S. also lost consumers’ trust during the pandemic, except for a handful of businesses — most notably, the health care industry gained a lot of American trust-equity from 2020 to 2021.

In my latest essay written for the Medecision Liberation blog, I assert: “Healthcare, Heal Thyself!”

That’s based on the fact that nurses, physicians and pharmacists continue to be the most trusted professions in America year after year in Gallup’s annual survey on honesty and ethics in the U.S., and Edelman’s finding that health care’s trust buoyed in the pandemic era. This is especially true for the pharma and consumer health segments in healthcare in America.

Check out the essay, which ties in impactful insights from Dr. Richard Baron, CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine, who wrote in the American Journal of Accountable Care, “Rebuilding trust within our healthcare system and nurturing an ecosystem in which trust is a core operating principle requires a more comprehensive and sustained effort. It can’t just be physicians and patients. We need everyone.”

Let’s work together to re-build trust in health and healthcare. It’s going to take every stakeholder in the industry to collaborate on this crucial objective.