Uk News The Oxford/AstraZeneca blood clot warning will feed misinformation– this is how to push back United Kingdom news
PremierLeague-News.Com - These newly uncovered risks are miniscule, but they provide a real opportunity for anti-vax messages and misunderstanding to take hold
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Side effects are the top reason people give for being hesitant about taking vaccines – so the front-page news about the extremely small risk of developing blood clots after taking the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is a serious challenge to the public’s confidence, which had been growing.Prior to the blood clot news breaking, surveys had shown a gradual but vitally important increase in the proportions who said they were going to get vaccinated, from 83 per cent before Christmas to 94 per cent in March.And it’s important to recognise that people did not have this particular risk in mind: our new survey released today was conducted just before the news hit, and only 13 per cent of respondents said they thought that vaccines cause blood clots.i's opinion newsletter: talking points from todayEmail address is invalidThank you for subscribing!Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription. Read More Vaccine passports could increase hesitancy — community outreach will do the most to boost uptake These newly uncovered risks are miniscule relative to the benefits – you have about as much chance of being murdered in the next year as developing vaccine-related blood clots. But they provide a real opportunity for misinformation and misunderstanding to take hold, and for those sowing deliberate disinformation to play on fears.Strangely, the anti-vax messages to date have been less focused on the key concern of side effects than they have on more outlandish theories about 5G and Bill Gates – but that could now switch to what may be a more effective target.We do, however, know how to fight back, from a large number of existing studies and actions around the world.It starts with transparency and honesty: the early press conference from the Prime Minister and the scientists leading our response was vital. Risk communication is extremely hard, however, and while many will have seen this important defence of vaccines, more will have seen the media and social media coverage.Some headlines translated this well, with strong messages on the safety of “carrying on” – but those that focused more on the doubt raised were less helpful. Open, clear and repeated communications are key, but with warranted reassurance running throughout, and the media have a clear role to play in this.But one message does not fit all.
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. This means a range of tailored messages.For some, this is about communicating how the continued risk of Covid outweighs the risk of vaccination.Other messages should play on people’s altruism and care for others, emphasising the benefits to the wider community, as well as reminding people that getting vaccinated is very much the “norm”. What we think other people are doing has a powerful impact on our own behaviour, and keeping that sense of national momentum is key.A lot of the hard work in countering misinformation and hesitancy is detailed and specific, working with particular groups and communities who have higher levels of reluctance. In our previous research, we found those from ethnic minorities had much higher levels of concern about side effects, and lower trust in government and health professionals. It’s therefore vital to work with community and religious leaders to get the message through: seeing ‘people like me’ getting vaccinated is important to our trust.Of course, particularly in today’s more virtual world, our online and social media environments are a key source of misinformation, and, as a number of our studies have shown, social media use in particular is highly related to vaccine hesitancy. Read More Vaccine passports could increase hesitancy — community outreach will do the most to boost uptake The platforms have engaged much more consistently in trying to identify and remove misinformation during this crisis than we’ve ever seen – yet the public would like more to be done, with two-thirds supporting financial penalties for those not removing fake information.It’s important, however, to remember that a lot of the biggest barriers to vaccination remain very practical, so making it as easy as possible for people is key. The UK and the NHS has been doing amazing work on that, and this positivity is itself vital.The vaccine rollout is one of the very few shining lights for the UK in our response to the pandemic – we need to play to that sense of national pride as well as the very real prize of a more normal life that vaccination will bring.
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