In June 2019 UNICEF held a meeting at UN headquarters in New York discussing the growing mistrust of vaccine and the “misinformation” behind the distrust. Social media platforms were identified as spreader of misinformation on vaccine.
UNICEF means that misinformation, largely through social media, have created mistrust in vaccines globally.
In 2016 the Dengvaxia vaccine were rolled out in Philippines. 800 000 schoolkids were injected with the vaccine. After the vaccination the vaccine maker ( Sanofi Pasteur) admitted that the vaccine posed a risk to children without prior dengue infection. Thousands of people got hospitalized, grown-ups and kids died and the parents blamed the vaccine.
After this all vaccinations in the Philippines plummet and Unicef means that the Philippines got their mistrust on vaccine from misinformation on social media.
“ANTI-VAX” VIDEO IN PAKISTAN
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director on Unicef, says that during a recent polio vaccination-campaign in Pakistan a video produced by anti-vaxxers went viral on social media. The video showed children allegedly suffering from side effects from the polio vaccine. The result: one million children did not get the vaccine that they needed. Fore means that mistrust and misinformation is stopping the progress of vaccination worldwide.
Video above: Henrietta Fore:
“We call on tech companies to do more to promote credible, quality and scientifically proven content about vaccines. This could include modifying search and recommendations algorithms to combat misinformation and prioritize verifiable information at the top of any search results”.
Dr. Seth Berkley from Gavi, the vaccine alliance:
“With internet, misinformation can spread at the speed of light. One of the things for social media is to make sure that they remove information that is false and is even misleading. And also to steer people to verified high-quality information that is appropriate for them. I have personally written to CEO:s of the internet companies to ask them to remove misinformation but also that they steer people to good information”.
Video above: Jason Hirch, Facebook:
“We are building relations with organizations like WHO, CDC, Unicef and others to identify hoaxes on vaccine, like vaccine causing autism. If you’re a group or page on Facebook spreading disinformation like this there are consequences. We will reduce the distribution of all the information coming out of that group or page. Those groups will also be pulled out of recommendations for the searching reader. These groups will also be demoted in the search results in Facebook. Facebook doesn’t accept any advertisement that includes any misinformation about vaccines”.
“We are also disabling fund raising tools for these groups. Facebook is promoting authoritative content that will rise to the top of the search results on vaccines, sites like CDC, WHO, Gates foundation, Unicef and so on”.
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Delehaye [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons