Experts Warn Conspiracy Content Could Undermine Vaccine Efforts

BRITISH EXPERTS have warned that widespread online ‘harmful’ conspiracy content could undermine government efforts to vaccinate the population against Covid-19.

A recent report by Kings College London (KCL) found that one in three Brits had likely been exposed to anti-vaccine conspiracy content on social media. Of their survey participants, 34% had seen conspiracy theories about the Covid vaccine, with the figure jumping to 40% for those who rely on WhatsApp and YouTube for their information.

The study found that young people who get the bulk of their news from social media are more likely to believe in mistruths about the vaccine, with 39% of this group believing in a conspiracy to enrich pharma companies as opposed to 15% of all demographic participants.

As the UK gets underway to become the first western country to roll-out non-trial vaccines, experts warn that disinformation could seriously undermine government efforts to vaccinate the population. Professor Bobby Duffy of KCL warned that ‘It’s clear that some harmful views have taken hold among a minority of the public’.

“They range from concerns about whether the UK government will ensure the safety of the coronavirus vaccine to particularly extreme conspiracy theories, such as that the real purpose of the vaccination effort is to track and control the population – which is believed by one in seven, and greater proportions of young people and social media users.

”We need to focus on the much larger sections of the public who say they’re unsure about the truth of some of the medical implications of vaccination, such as the 42% who say they don’t know if it may cause autism in children and the 48% who are unsure whether it might cause infertility.”

The academic said that the government could combat disinformation with clear and transparent public health messaging and that social media companies must take further responsibility for content on their platforms.

Thank you for taking the time to read this news article “Experts Warn Conspiracy Content Could Undermine Vaccine Efforts”. For more UK daily news, Spanish daily news and Global news stories, visit the Euro Weekly News home page.

FacebookTwitterRedditWhatsAppTelegramLinkedInEmailCopy Link
Go Back
Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...


    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *