U.S. health officials are urging Americans to be vaccinated against the flu to help busy hospitals fighting Kovid-19 stop drowning this winter, but false claims are threatening their efforts.
Misinformation on social media, especially that the flu shot will increase the risk of contracting a coronavirus or cause you to test positive for Covid-19 – if not – is flawed public health message
A false claim circulating on Facebook and Instagram states that the flu shot will increase the chances of Covid-19 infection by 36 percent. Another on Instagram said that the Sanofi flu vaccine is 2.4 times more deadly than the Fluzon Covid-19.
A national study from the University of Michigan found that one in three parents planned to give up the flu vaccine for their children this year, with mothers and fathers pointing to misinformation, believing it was not effective, as one reason.
“Primary care providers have a really important role to play in this flu season,” said Sarah Clark, a research scientist at the Michigan Center for Child Health Assessment and Research, who led the study.
“They need to send a clear and strong message to parents about the importance of the flu vaccine.”
But the U.S. As the level of daily covid-19 infection increases in some states, misinformation remains an obstacle for people to be vaccinated.
“There’s a lot of misinformation about covid and I really believe the flu is spreading,” said Jeanne Gidry, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who studies health messaging on social media.
Amelia Jamieson, a misinformation researcher and doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University, agreed.
“The flu is trapped in the statements we’ve seen about coronavirus,” he said.
– Vaccination stopped in 2020 –
Video: Fau Key: Infection Baseline Going in the Wrong Direction (Associated Press)
Click to enlarge
Now the next
According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only 49.2 percent of people received the flu vaccine in the 2018-19 season.
Aside from misinformation, measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 have led to fewer preventive medical visits in person, during which many people are vaccinated. And other flu shot clinics are usually offered by employers, churches or schools that are on hold.
High unemployment due to the economic collapse of the epidemic has also left millions of Americans without health insurance, meaning states will have to choose vaccine costs for more patients.
While the effectiveness of flu shots may vary depending on the strain of the flu in communities, the CDC said it prevents millions of illnesses each year.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the vaccine for all children over six months of age.
“We found no correlation between the incidence of influenza vaccine and coronavirus risk in children or adults,” said Danuta Schwaronski, a flu vaccine specialist at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control.
– Social Media Feedback –
When social media platforms give false information, they also take steps to spread reliable guidance about vaccines.
This week, Facebook announced that it would lead US users to information on where to get flu shots, and vowed to reject ads that discourage vaccinations.
Prior to the epidemic, to redirect the discovery of some vaccine-related keywords to public health organizations, put policies into Twitter and Pinterest.
But more can be done, said Adam Dunn, head of biomedical informatics and digital health at the University of Sydney.
The methods developed to encourage user engagement on social media can “be used more fairly to guide people to reliable and evidence-based information,” Dunn said.
He further advocated for the creation of “pro-vaccine communities that combine welcome, honest and global vision diversity.”
Libby Richards, an associate professor at Purdue School of Nursing and Nursing, said, “Covid-1 requires similar life-saving devices in severe cases of severe and severe flu.
“Getting the flu vaccine will not only provide personal health protection, it will also help reduce the burden of respiratory illness on our already extensive health care system.”
Richards encouraged people to make time for fact-check information.
“There are many myths about the flu vaccine that can be clearly refuted with a little background reading.”