Intended for healthcare professionals


Vaccination: “fake news” on social media may be harming UK uptake, report warns

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 23 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l365
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

The spread of misinformation and “fake news” on social media may be fuelling public concern about potential side effects of vaccination and could restrict uptake, the Royal Society for Public Health has warned.1

Although the UK maintains “world leading” levels of vaccine coverage, the extent to which social media propagates misinformation about vaccinations is a concern, it said.

The society conducted a literature review of relevant articles and three public surveys carried out in May 2018.1 These included a poll of 2622 UK parents, which found that two in five (41%; 1075) had been exposed to negative messages about vaccines on social media. …

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