Correcting vaccine misinformation is a difficult process

8 January, 2020

Citation and selected extracts below.

CITATION: Peter R. Hansen, Matthias Schmidtblaicher, Noel T. Brewer. Resilience of HPV vaccine uptake in Denmark: Decline and recovery. Vaccine, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.12.019

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Correcting vaccine misinformation is a difficult process, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2020. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200107104948.htm

EXTRACTS

The number of girls receiving HPV vaccines in Denmark plummeted after vaccine misinformation spread through Danish media outlets from 2013 to 2016. Health officials launched a campaign in 2017 aiming to correct the misinformation and encourage girls to get vaccinated.

New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that, despite substantial progress, about 26,000 Danish girls remain unvaccinated as a result of vaccine misinformation. About 33,000 girls are born annually in Denmark. Among the unvaccinated girls, researchers expect to see as many as 180 avoidable cases of cervical cancer and 45 deaths.

The researchers found that misinformation in Danish media outlets from 2013-2016 led to vaccinations dropping by 50.4%. An information campaign geared toward concerned parents helped increase vaccine uptake again, but uptake is still below the level before misinformation began, showing how difficult it is to undo the damages misinformation causes...

"The main threat to the resilience of vaccination programs globally is vaccine misinformation," Brewer said. "When there's a large drop in vaccination coverage, it's almost always because there's an unproven vaccine safety scare."

ORIGINAL PAPER: https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0264410X19316615 [restricted access]

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Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Information for Citizens, Parents and Children

http://www.hifa.org/projects/citizens-parents-and-children

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org