Best Ways to Combat Flu Vaccine Misinformation

The ever-increasing number of places people go to for information makes it easier for misinformation to spread quickly. Misinformation spreads quickly on social media and via search engines. The propagation of misinformation on social media and other channels affects flu vaccine confidence. Misinformation typically arises when there are information gaps or unresolved science, as human nature seeks to reason, better comprehend, and plug in the gaps. The flu vaccine misinformation focuses on vaccine development, safety, and effectiveness. Here are ways to monitor and address misinformation regarding the flu vaccine.

Analyze Circulating Misinformation

Listen to and analyze misinformation circulating in your community through social and traditional media monitoring. Analysis can include monitoring social media channels and outlets for misinformation and then creating a log of the misinformation to identify trends in your area. When you analyze circulating misinformation, you understand where, when, why, and how misinformation is spreading in your community.

Engage With Your Community

Listen to what the people in your community are saying. It will give you insights to help analyze perceptions, content gaps, information voids, and misinformation regarding the flu vaccine.

Share Only Accurate, Clear, and Easy-to-Find Information

Communicate accurate and straightforward information that addresses common questions about the flu vaccination. You can share information via your website, social media, or wherever consumers seek health information. It is also essential to use methods that reach those with limited or no internet access. Consider radio or community events for this latter group. Be sure to share details about local vaccination sites, such as location and service hours.

Use Trusted Messengers

Trusted messengers boost credibility and increase the likelihood of being seen and believed over misinformation. Remember that some people may not trust public health professionals or visit the health department website, so reaching them through the channels and sources they look to, and trust for health information is much more effective. These channels typically include religious leaders or community organizations.

Monitoring Misinformation

Monitoring through social listening is a strategy to identify misinformation about the flu vaccine. Catching misinformation is essential as it can help you develop accurate information to address concerns and questions before inaccurate information fills the information gaps. Here is how to conduct social listening and media monitoring:

  • Identify your jurisdiction’s existing information sources that will inform listening.
  • Create a social media influencer list to monitor perceptions, content gaps, and misinformation.
  • Create a rumor log to track circulating misinformation.
  • Set up a monitoring system to access critical channels, communities, and conversations.
  • Analyze and develop insights by asking questions.

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