Divide in Vaccine Belief in COVID-19 Conversations: Implications for Immunization Plans   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Abstract: "The development of a viable COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] vaccine is a work in progress, but the success of the immunization campaign will depend upon public acceptance. In this paper, we classify Twitter users in COVID-19 discussion into vaccine refusers (anti-vaxxers) and vaccine adherers (vaxxers) communities. We study the divide between anti-vaxxers and vaxxers in the context of whom they follow. More specifically, we look at followership of 1) the U.S. Congress members, 2) four major religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam), 3) accounts related to the healthcare community, and 4) news media accounts. Our results indicate that there is a partisan divide between vaxxers and anti-vaxxers. We find a religious community with a higher than expected fraction of anti-vaxxers. Further, we find that the variance of vaccine belief within the news media accounts operated by Russian and Iranian governments is higher compared to news media accounts operated by other governments. Finally, we provide messaging and policy implications to inform the COVID-19 vaccine and future vaccination plans."

Carnegie-Mellon University
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