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Dispelling anti-vaxxer misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination

25 March 2021
9 min read
Volume 30 · Issue 6

Abstract

University of Southampton, discusses strategies to enhance vaccination uptake among certain groups in society who are influenced by anti-vaxxers

On the 15 February 2021 a BBC TV Panorama documentary, Vaccines: The Disinformation War, investigated the rise of anti-vaccine content on social media platforms (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000scy8). Ask the Experts is but one of many anti-vaccine videos that are currently being circulated on social media and messaging sites amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

People in many countries have sought to discredit the COVID-19 vaccines as being unsafe by fuelling myths that they can, for example, alter DNA and cause infertility. What was most concerning about the Panorama documentary is that among the so-called experts adding fuel to the fire of the anti-vaccine movement is a nurse who has been suspended from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register and at least one doctor under suspension from the General Medical Council (GMC).

Anti-vaccination books are also being sold on well-known book websites, leading politicians to urge these companies to put warning tags on these books to combat the spread of misinformation.

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