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Covid-19: Here’s how media coverage of vaccine evasion contributed to the problem:


In addition to logistics and supply issues, vaccine hesitation was a significant hurdle in Australia’s troubled vaccine deployment. The news that the Australian Immunotechnology Advisory Group (ATAGI) recommends Pfizer over AstraZeneca for everyone under the age of 60 due to a rare blood coagulation disorder has a new impact on vaccine reliability. I’m giving.

Active locally COVID In the case of Victoria and New South Wales, it is timely to consider all possible factors that may contribute to vaccine hesitation.

One is the media. Vaccine hesitation news reports may explain real community concerns, but may inadvertently contribute to the fear of COVID vaccines.

Why are some people reluctant to get the COVID vaccine?

Australians find their environment safe and relatively low in COVID-19, but some remain unwilling to have a jab. They may hesitate to get vaccinated because they believe that the vaccine can pose a greater risk than the virus itself.

This is not the case. ATAGI’s evolving recommendations ensure that the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID outweigh the risks of all age groups.

Fear, on the other hand, is the motive for action. A recent outbreak in Melbourne has resulted in a record number of Victorian people being vaccinated.

A Griffith University survey conducted in mid-2020 found that 68% of people would be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine, if available. Those who said they weren’t worried about side effects, test quality, and speed of vaccine development.

As a result, safety was an important concern before learning about rare adverse events such as blood clots, even in the face of frequent regional infections in Australia.

Vaccine hesitage reports can exacerbate the problem

Over the past few months, the news seems to have had new reports and surveys every other day, revealing that a percentage of people are hesitant to get the COVID vaccine.

Our attitudes and actions are shaped by what others in society do, that is, social norms. A recent study found that US college students who felt that COVID-19 vaccination was important to their peers were more likely to report their intention to vaccinate themselves.

Similarly, it is important to recognize that there is a real risk that hesitation and delay in vaccination may catch up with more people if widely reported in the media.

A review of 34 studies found that the way parents interpret media coverage of vaccination relies on their existing beliefs. For example, reporting “rare” side effects may reassure parents who already believe that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, but the same reports can discourage parents who are already worried about side effects. there is.

Indeed, humans tend to be confirmation bias — more attention is paid to information that fits previous beliefs. Finding and examining evidence that goes against our beliefs is difficult for our brains.

But the media can help with this in the way they assemble their reports. For example, emphasizing that the majority of Australians want and intend to get vaccinated is a better option than focusing on the number of non-vaccinated people.

For those who are already hesitant, another report could shift the balance further from vaccination. Therefore, reporters need to think carefully about how to present stories of vaccine repellent (and the need to present them first).

Vaccine safety reports must also be handled with caution

In Italy, media reports of a small number of deaths after receiving a flu vaccine batch in the winter of 2014/2015 found that flu vaccinations for people over the age of 65 were reduced by 10% compared to the previous season. It was related.

Although these deaths were quickly confirmed to be unrelated to vaccination, early reports appear to have had a significant impact on behavior.

In a global survey, three of the 13 national and state-level vaccines interviewed said that “negative information conveyed in the mass media” contributed to their country’s vaccine evasion. Said.

Conversely, media coverage of influenza and vaccination may also increase vaccination uptake. In this study, careful data analysis showed that a large number of news reports with headlines “flu” or “flu” corresponded to the rise in influenza vaccination rates over the same year.

What should the media aim for when reporting on COVID vaccination?

Reports on Australian vaccination trends should really reinforce what is a social norm: the majority willing to get the COVID vaccine.

In addition, media coverage of the COVID vaccine should be taken care of contextualizing benefits as well as risks and regularly remind consumers of credible sources such as federal and state health departments and ATAGI.

This story was published from a news agency feed without changing the text. Only the heading has changed.


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