Published: 17 October 2023
A recent study conducted by Public Health Wales shows that young people, parents of children under 18, those receiving Universal Credit and people who identify as transgender are more likely to be exposed to vaccine misinformation online. The report also found that 89 per cent of service users reported seeing vaccine-related misinformation in the past year.
The study shed light on the prevalence of misleading information about vaccinations and the need for targeted resources to combat vaccine hesitancy.
The Evaluation of Vaccination Information Resources report found adults with disabilities, individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds, and parents of children under 18 exhibited lower levels of confidence in the safety of vaccines.
The report’s recommendations include implementing tailored resources that offer reassurance around vaccine safety and address community-specific concerns. These resources must be easily accessible, with an aim to encourage wider vaccine uptake.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for vaccine-related resources significantly increased. The study sought to assess the awareness and effectiveness of Public Health Wales' vaccine resources by gathering feedback from service providers and user groups.
Public Health Wales acknowledges the need to differentiate its information resources to capture the attention of the public. By tailoring the content and delivery of these resources, Public Health Wales aims to maximise their impact and effectiveness, fostering informed decision-making and encouraging vaccine uptake.
Jasmin Chowdhury, Senior Public Health Practitioner at Public Health Wales, said: “The findings of this study clearly highlight the importance and need for unique resources designed for specific population groups to combat misinformation and address vaccine hesitancy, especially during a time where misinformation can spread extremely quickly online.
“This report plays a crucial role in improving communication strategies and resources, and furthering our mission to protect public health through increased vaccine uptake by helping individuals make well-informed decisions.”
Public Health Wales intends to use these findings to further enhance public communications and develop resources that address vaccine hesitancy and combat misinformation.