Unmasking COVID-19 Vaccine “Infodemic” in the Social Media

John Demuyakor 1 * , Isaac Newton Nyatuame 2, Samuel Obiri 3
More Detail
1 Institute of Communication Studies, Communication University of China, Beijing, CHINA
2 Department of Communication Studies, University of Cape Coast, GHANA
3 Department of Foreign Languages and Communication, University of Education, Winneba, GHANA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 11, Issue 4, Article No: e202119. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/11200
OPEN ACCESS   288 Views   177 Downloads   Published online: 31 Aug 2021
Download Full Text (PDF)

ABSTRACT

The activities of the anti-vaccine crusaders and conspiracy theorists on social media platforms have influenced billions of people across the globe on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines currently been used for immunizations. The increased social media mis/disinformation on the efficacies and safety of these vaccines developed have raised a global concern among all stakeholders. This study adopted a convenience sampling through an online survey to collect data from N=1800 participants (students) from five (5) public universities in Accra the national capital of Ghana, which is also the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic to examine their perceptions on the overabundance COVID-19 pandemic information on social media and how these pieces information consumption impacts their trust/mistrust/distrust in the COVID-19 vaccines. The findings of our study indicate that there exist vital levels of COVID-19 vaccines “infodemic” on social media and these overabundances of COVID-19 vaccine information on social media has caused great levels of fear and panic among the students and the public. We also found that, the high exposure to COVID-19 vaccine information on social media are associated with negative perceptions and higher levels of mistrust/distrust among the population. This study recommends that stakeholders such as WHO, policymakers, and accredited health institutions must embark on public health communication campaigns to educate the public on the credible sources of COVID-19 pandemic information on social media.

CITATION

Demuyakor, J., Nyatuame, I. N., & Obiri, S. (2021). Unmasking COVID-19 Vaccine “Infodemic” in the Social Media. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 11(4), e202119. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/11200

REFERENCES