Social Media and Vaccine Hesitancy   [open pdf - 315KB]

From the Abstract: "Understanding the threat posed by antivaccination efforts on social media is critically important with the forth coming need for world wide COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] vaccination programs. We globally evaluate the effect of social media and online foreign disinformation campaigns on vaccination rates and attitudes towards vaccine safety. [...] We found the use of social media to organise offline action to be highly predictive of the belief that vaccinations are unsafe, with such beliefs mounting as more organisation occurs on social media. In addition, the prevalence of foreign disinformation is highly statistically and substantively significant in predicting a drop in mean vaccination coverage over time. A 1-point shift upwards in the 5-point disinformation scale is associated with a 2-percentage point drop in mean vaccination coverage year over year. We also found support for the connection of foreign disinformation with negative social media activity about vaccination. The substantive effect of foreign disinformation is to increase the number of negative vaccine tweets by 15% for the median country. [...] There is a significant relationship between organisation on social media and public doubts of vaccine safety. In addition, there is a substantial relationship between foreign disinformation campaigns and declining vaccination coverage."

2020 Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/].
Retrieved From:
National Center for Biotechnology Information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Media Type:
BMJ Global Health (2020), v.5 issue 10
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