CHICAGO (CBS) — Since the start of the pandemic, there’s been a lot of confusion around COVID. That’s why a local epidemiologist turned to social media to help separate fact from fiction.

CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas gets the details from Dr. Katrine Wallace, a Chicago epidemiologist who is also a TikTok influencer.

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From trending dances and cooking hacks to an epidemiologist that demystifies COVID-19 while on rollerblades.

“I downloaded TikTok at the beginning of the pandemic, for the same reason everybody else did. I was bored at home during the lockdown, and I just wanted to have some entertainment,” she said.

But since then, Wallace has become a viral TikTok star for her videos addressing COVID-19 misinformation.

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“I would say the biggest reason people don’t want to get vaccinated at this point are they believe it is experimental. I think people misunderstand the clinical trial process, and the fact that all of the steps, the normal steps, were taken,” she said.

Wallace said combining the latest TikTok trends with scientific data has had an impact on her followers.

“Every single day I get messages from people saying, you know, ‘”My mom decided to get vaccinated because we watched your videos,’” she said.

She’s putting a trusted face to the information to help her audience make informed choices, and keep the truth trending.

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“If you empower people with data it helps them to make better decisions for themselves and for their families,” she said.

Tim McNicholas