Sunday March 29, 2020

People Receive Misinformation Regarding Vaccines on Social Media, Says Study

Low levels of trust in medical experts coincide with believing vaccine misinformation

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Vaccine
Such a high level of misinformation is "worrying" because misinformation undermines vaccination rates, and high vaccination rates are required to maintain community immunity. Pixabay

Researchers have found that people who rely on social media for information were more likely to be misinformed about vaccines than those who rely on traditional media.

The study, based on nationally representative surveys of nearly 2,500 US adults, found that up to 20 per cent of respondents were at least somewhat misinformed about vaccines.

Such a high level of misinformation is “worrying” because misinformation undermines vaccination rates, and high vaccination rates are required to maintain community immunity, the researchers said.

“People who received their information from traditional media were less likely to endorse anti-common vaccination claims,” said study lead author Dominik Stecula from University of Pennsylvania in the US. The findings, published in the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review, was conducted in the spring and fall of 2019, when the US experienced its largest measles outbreak in a quarter century.

Between the two survey periods, 19 per cent of the respondents’ levels of vaccine misinformation changed in a substantive way – and within that group, almost two-thirds (64 per cent) were more misinformed in the fall than in the spring.

The researchers found that 18 per cent of respondents mistakenly said that it is very or somewhat accurate to state that vaccines cause autism; 15 per cent mistakenly agreed that it is very or somewhat accurate to state that vaccines are full of toxins.

The researchers also found that an individual’s level of trust in medical experts affects the likelihood that a person’s beliefs about vaccination will change.

Social Media
Researchers have found that people who rely on social media for information were more likely to be misinformed about vaccines than those who rely on traditional media. Pixabay

Low levels of trust in medical experts coincide with believing vaccine misinformation, the researchers said.

The findings come as a number of states have been debating whether to tighten their laws surrounding vaccination exemptions and social media companies have been wrestling with how to respond to different forms of misinformation.

ALSO READ: Tech Giant Samsung Unveils New Convertible ACs Starting From INR 33,499

The result is consistent with research suggesting that social media contain a fair amount of misinformation about vaccination while traditional media are more likely to reflect the scientific consensus on its benefits and safety, according to the researchers. (IANS)

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All Private Hospitals and Doctors Should Lend their Helping Hands

It is the time when all “private” doctors, health clinics and nourishing homes should give serious thought towards helping the governments

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doctors hospital
Doctors and elite hospitals should come forwards with their open hearts. Pixabay

SALIL GEWALI

If private medical professionals still choose to remain on lockdown at home 
then the groan and moan of humanity will unmask them forever.  

A friend in need is the friend indeed. But today one should change it a little bit to be more relevant by saying – “a doctor in need is a doctor indeed”. Because the doctors are our most wanted friends now. They are the ones who could save us from the Covid malady.

It is the time when all “private” doctors, health clinics and nourishing homes should give serious thought towards helping the governments in their respective countries by extending their voluntary services in every possible way.

doctors hospital
If private doctors and medical professionals still choose to remain on lockdown at home
then the groan and moan of humanity will unmask them forever.

All doctors and owners of “private” medical institutes should agree that this is the most “unprecedented” pandemic health crisis mankind has ever witnessed, at least in modern times. So, the “private health professionals” and elite hospitals should come forwards with their open hearts. In fact, is it not the medical fraternity who has seen life from the close proximity of the “death”? One’s materialistic possession, his high ambition and dream seems like  an illusion when deaths come knocking the door? Look at the increasing fatalities in Italy and Spain due to raging coronavirus infection. The USA is scrambling to get its medical equipment together. Is it not heart-wrenching! The government of Italy has screamed in tears pleading for help as it’s medical wherewithal is almost exhausted. What more — Prince Charles is in quarantine, so is now UK Prime Minister  Boris Johnson and his Health Secretary who tested positive for the deadly Corona-virus.

doctors hospital
Doctors in overalls stretch a patient under intensive care into the newly built Columbus Covid 2 temporary hospital to fight the new coronavirus infection.

This pandemic crisis is in fact an “alarm bell” tolled which should prompt us for a real introspection. The condition the world top countries are confronting should make us “convince” that our life is afloat on the bubble of “uncertainty”. Any moment our end can come. The life on this earth is no less than a temporary sojourn — the fact we can see and feel more clearly now than ever before.

doctors hospital
All doctors and owners of “private” medical institutes should agree that this is the most “unprecedented” pandemic health crisis mankind has ever witnessed.

So, one strongly believes that in these trying times all “private medical professionals” and proprietors of all nourishing homes and hospitals across the world should stand up to demonstrate their compassion towards the aggrieved humanity. They should open the doors of their hospitals and clinics for the treatment of the COVID patients without discrimination and with utmost urgency.   Needless to say, by all accounts, this is their moral obligation and the prime duty. However, if they still choose to remain on lockdown at home and keep silent then the groan and moan of humanity will unmask them forever.

Also Read- Can COVID-19 Test Results Arrive in Minutes? Scientists Answer This Question for You

A India-based writer and researcher, Salil Gewali is best known for his research-based work entitled ‘Great minds on India’ which has earned worldwide appreciations. Translated into twelve languages, his book has been prefaced by a world-acclaimed NASA Chief scientist – Dr. Kamlesh Lulla of Houston, USA 

[ Disclaimer: The pictures used in the article are supplied by the author, NewsGram has no intention of infringing copyrights. ]