What is Vaccine skepticism, and what to do about it?
According to the survey, around 92% of people in the world think that vaccines are crucial for children to have. Most people all over the world support the vaccination, but public opinion varies from one region to the other. The vaccine skepticism is low in the world, but there are some countries where the effectiveness and safety of vaccines were believed to be skeptical. For instance, I in 3 people in France disagreed about the safety of vaccines. Here, you will learn what vaccine skepticism is and what to do about it. Are you ready? Let’s get into it!
What can be done to counter misinformation?
If the skepticism of vaccine effectiveness and safety in some regions of the world, then how we tackle this issue, especially the coverage of vocal skeptics online. Nature published a study in which it addressed the issues of effectiveness of vaccines in denying the misinformation in discussions, especially in public. This study was focused on climate change and the spread of misinformation on the vaccines. This study found that being exposed to rebuttal arguments without a contradiction has a negative effect on the support and trust of vaccination. Essentially, the researchers found that using the same methods to rebuttal arguments in the public discussion had optimistic effects on the attitudes of the common people. Whereas there is more often a concern that denial of rebuttal arguments in the public discussions could backfire, this study recommends this is rarely the case.
The research also recommends that denial is effective in some regions than others. However, rebuttal had a positive impact on all kinds of people. This study also suggests that rebuttal also had a great positive impact on the conservatives in the USA as compared to liberals. And it was specifically beneficial among people with prior ideology or beliefs that make them susceptible to science deniers. All this evidence shows that the denial of facts by the common people is effective in countering misinformation.
Role of social media in Vaccine skepticism:
People use social media platform to spread misinformation among people. That’s why social media has a crucial rule for dealing with such misinformation and need to react carefully. Currently, The US and UK politicians have asked the social media platforms to control or ban the anti-vaccination messaging. The strict control or banning could reduce the coverage of such misinformation but of course, doesn’t solve the root cause of this issue. The people ask questions about the vaccines on online platforms and are looking to find the answers to their questions. A worry is that banning such group on social media like Facebook and such information on other online platforms will fuel rebuttal and only drive activity in another place.
However, demands on social media companies to act are rapidly increasing. US Representative Adam Schiff requested action to the CEO of Facebook and Google that ignited the cascade of responses. In his open letter to Facebook and Google, he asked the CEO of both platforms to take action against vaccine misinformation. The UK secretary of state and social care, Matt Hancock requested similar demands, among others.
Vaccine skepticism and Covid-19
In the United States of America, Vaccine skepticism is rising amid the Covid-19 outbreak. The trial set back and the political maneuvering raise many questions and foster skepticism. According to a recent survey (conducted in September 2020), 27% of respondents are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it is ready. This percentage went down about 6% from August 2020, according to a survey by media and marketing services company, Engine. Around 32% of people showed their confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine was “considerably reduced” when they heard the news about a vaccine trial break.
Author: Vicki Lezama