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Video: Social Media Is The Worst Source Of Information About Vaccines
Social media is the worst source of information about vaccines
People who gain knowledge about vaccines primarily from social media rather than traditional media are more likely to be misinformed. Education campaigns have little impact on this group of people.
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People who gain knowledge about vaccines primarily from social media rather than traditional media are more likely to be misinformed. This is evidenced by the results of a study published in the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from two surveys of nearly 2,500 American adults conducted in the spring and fall of 2019.
The study found that one in five participants was more or less misinformed about vaccines. Scientists believe this level of misinformation is dangerous as it can reduce vaccination coverage.
“People who received information through traditional media were less likely to support claims against vaccinations for common diseases,” said lead author Dominik Stecula.
The second major factor associated with misinformation about vaccines was mistrust of experts.
According to the survey, 18% of respondents believed that vaccines caused autism; 15% - that they are toxic; 20% - that parents should decide for themselves whether to vaccinate a child; 19% - that it will be better for immunity if you endure the disease, and not get vaccinated.
The study showed the persistence of disinformation. The level of awareness of the majority of the participants (81%) was approximately the same during both surveys: both in spring and in autumn. Widespread news coverage of vaccination issues and efforts to raise public awareness have met with modest success.
Knowledge of 19% of the respondents changed between the spring and autumn surveys. At the same time, the level of misinformation increased among 64% of respondents from this group.