Health officials scramble to fight social media vaccine misinformation

Public health authorities and social media companies are fighting over coronovirus misinformation as they try to ensure that enough Americans are vaccinated against coronoviruses.

Health experts say at least 70 percent of the nation needs to regain herd immunity and completely crush the outbreak that killed more than 300,000 Americans.

National polls show that a growing number of Americans are ready to receive a coronavirus vaccine, but that some populations, particularly blacks and Latino people, are reticent.

Federal officials are rolling out a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech that is 95 percent effective, and the Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved another vaccine from Modern that is almost equally effective in preventing COVID-19 cases. is.

“It would be terrible, as good as with a tool, if people don’t use that tool,” Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci Trump lives off-camera as the vaccine is distributed. Immunization is not a complete answer to COVID-19. Fauci urges Americans to ‘step up to the plate’ and get more immunizationThe country’s top infectious disease doctor, said in an interview on 15 December.

The reasons for doubt vary. Some have cited that he said the politicization of a vaccine from the Trump administration, despite officials denying that politics played a role in rapid development.

Others exist in the problematic past of American medicine and with patients from minority groups.

He said, “You have to accept historical mistakes. And then you need to address those concerns clearly, ”said George Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

Authorities need to address legitimate concerns that hitch people, while preventing waves of deliberate misinformation from anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists.

Benjamin said it is easier to address the concerns of those who hesitate rather than those who believe and often deliberately thwart conspiracies.

“You know, what do you do to a person who does not believe that this disease exists?” Some of those people will have to face reality when they or a family member or someone they know actually becomes ill. And, some of them you will never celebrate, ”said Benjamin.

Anti-vaccine communities have long been the most active and engaged, gathering in public and private spaces to share lies about the risk of vaccination.

The groups that have been supercharged by the coronovirus epidemic have eroded trust in traditional institutions and left millions with few options for social interaction beyond the Internet.

Paul Barrett, deputy director of the New York University Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, told The Hill that the biggest source of coronovirus vaccine disinfection is “morphing of long-standing anti-vaccine activists.”

“There was a considerable foundation out there that existed before anyone had heard of COVID-19,” he explained. “Those groups have become fully active with the current crisis.”

Equal mistrust in institutions promoting anti-vaccination communities have also led to thousands of strands towards conspiracy theories.

QAnon, whose followers believe President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump signs bill to give open relief to government, names ‘guardians of the galaxy’ trend on social media after new space force to close two Russians during talks with US MORE The media and government are working to expose a case of shady elites running child-sex trafficking rings, a clear beneficiary of that slide for conspiratorial thinking.

QAnon’s growth may be difficult to access herd immunity, as its proponents lie about COVID-19 vaccines, such as those administered with a microchip to control and track civilians, or that the bill Gates is responsible for coronovirus.

“These conspiracy theories are wrong, but I am very concerned that they may come into the mainstream. And if we have people who are not getting vaccinated, it makes it very difficult for us to get herd immunity through vaccination, and therefore, to end the epidemic, “Lena Wayne, George Washington University Said a public health professor at. Served as Baltimore’s health commissioner.

“So it’s really a matter of life and death here,” Wayne said.

Public health officials will also have to contend with a more mainstream source of vaccine misinformation: conservative media and supporters of President Trump.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 42 percent of Republicans likely would not, or would not, vaccinate against coronaviruses.

In an effort to bridge the partisan divide, Vice President Pence and his wife Karen were screened live on television on Friday. But Trump was absolutely absent.

Wayne said it would be helpful if Trump wanted to speak up and take a shot.

“Today there are many millions of Americans for whom the most reliable envoy is President Trump. And so President Trump speaks, correcting the misinformation is really important, ”Wayne said.

Trump has repeatedly expressed skepticism about the severity of the epidemic and used masks to limit its spread.

According to a Cornell University report, 38 percent of all articles containing misinformation about the coronavirus epidemic published between January 1 and May 26 contained Trump and some sort of misleading claims he has shared.

MPs withdrawing Trump in Congress have also said things that may discourage the use of vaccines.

Rape Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert Buckantrystrust, content moderation organizations to dominate technical policy in 2021, pushing congressional leaders to prioritize technical contradictory reports. Technological rhetoric: a source of clarity or confusion? more (R-Colo.) Said he would not take the vaccine because he was “more concerned about the side effects of the vaccine than the disease” in a Fox Business interview on Friday morning. His office later clarified that Buck believes those at risk “should receive the vaccine immediately.”

The right-wing media has also been the driver of coronovirus misinformation. An analysis found that between February 1 and March 23, right-leaning outlets posted about 4,000 stories with faulty information about the disease, while mainstream outlets had just 1,500.

The social media platform, one of the important vectors for misinformation of health, has sought to stamp out misinformation.

Facebook said earlier this month that it would begin deleting posts with false claims about the “safety, efficacy, ingredients, or side effects” of coronavirus vaccines.

Earlier this week Twitter said it would begin labeling users and requiring users to post “advance harmful, inaccurate or misleading narratives” about the COVID-19 vaccination. YouTube announced a similar policy in October.

Beyond restricting existing coronovirus misinformation, Barrett said platforms should work to increase information about vaccines from trusted sources. Many of them are already doing so.

Still, health experts said that tech companies can only go so far.

“If anyone has doubts about the vaccine, I’m not sure their mind is going to change,” Wayne said.

What matters.

Wayne said, “I think it might help to change his mind that seeing his family members get the vaccine, his pastor has talked about this and his fellow family getting the vaccine lets see.”


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