Vaccine Disinformation
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If we’re to beat the COVID-nineteen pandemic, vaccines are essential. Yet, now that we have multiple vaccines shown to be highly effective, the fearmongering has exploded. It’s the anti-vaxxers, libertarians, New Agers, and QAnon followers, among others. An analysis of fourteen million social media posts that included the words “vaccine” or “vaccination” in English, Spanish and French had twelve hundred posts with the most engagement.

The top two topics question the political and economic motives behind vaccines as well as their safety and necessity. Both are rife with misinformation. Bill Gates is a major target with claims he’s using the pandemic and the vaccine to implant trackable microchips into people. A mind blowing one-third of Americans believe it.

Then, a right-wing outlet, Newsmax tweeted that one of the COVID vaccines tampers with your DNA which isn’t true. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine uses a fragment of the virus’s genetic material, the messenger RNA. When injected, it tells the body to produce a viral protein so that our immune system will make antibodies against it and prepare for a real infection. But injecting the viral mRNA does nothing to our DNA.

And while this may be the first vaccine made using mRNA, the vaccines have been through rigorous testing on tens of thousands of people. Listen to your doctors and ignore social media posts. If we’re to beat this pandemic with herd immunity, enough of us need to take these vaccines.

For more information…

Vaccine rumours debunked: Microchips, 'altered DNA' and more
We've looked into some of the most widely shared false vaccine claims - everything from alleged plots to put microchips into people to the supposed re-engineering of our genetic code...

Under the surface: Covid-19 vaccine narratives, misinformation and data deficits on social media
First Draft is pleased to present a new piece of research that has identified dominant vaccine narratives on social media platforms in English, French and Spanish online communities which could erode public trust in a Covid-19 vaccine, and vaccines more generally. The research was conducted this summer by First Draft, amid growing concern that dangerous narratives and conspiracy theories may result in increasing vaccine skepticism...