Original Research

Social Media and Vaccine Hesitancy

October 23, 2020

The authors of this article set out to explore two research questions: Does social media usage increase vaccine hesitancy in populations? and do foreign disinformation campaigns increase vaccine hesitancy in populations? The prevalence of a foreign disinformation effort/operation was statistically significant in predicting a drop in vaccination rates over time as well as connected to an increase in negative social media activity about vaccination. Findings concluded that individuals who use social media to organize offline behavior or action have an associated belief that vaccines are unsafe. Based upon these findings, government intervention is recommended in mandating social media platforms remove anti-vaccination content and the use of diplomacy to address foreign disinformation campaigns at their source.