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Home  >  Medical Research Archives  >  Issue 149  > Role of Mass Media and Public Health Communications in COVID-19 Vaccination
Published in the Medical Research Archives
Feb 2023 Issue

Role of Mass Media and Public Health Communications in COVID-19 Vaccination

Published on Feb 28, 2023




Vaccines offer life-saving protection against diseases and keep us safe from the harmful effects. The speedy development of vaccines during COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the coronavirus’s transmissibility and severity. COVID-19 vaccine development was challenging but the global scientific collaboration and use of resources including extensive funding made it possible. COVID-19 vaccines were deployed in controlled phases for general public use, initially offering them to the first responders and those vulnerable to life threatening effects of virus. However, it was observed that the general population has widespread vaccine hesitancy. Mass media plays a critical role in influencing people’s attitudes and practices. A common man cannot comprehend correlation from causation and jumps to conclusions. Media has the power to unite the world on one platform for a common cause. It is a source for the public to seek information, but like a double ended sword, this platform that provides information, also gives misinformation. On one hand, the public uses the media to seek information for vaccine safety and efficacy and on the other hand, to propagate unverified conspiracies against vaccines. In this review, we analyze the role of mass media and public health communications in COVID-19 vaccination from December 11, 2020, to September 15, 2021, and draw scientific inferences. We have discussed vaccine hesitancy and some prominent reasons that instil fear among the public, including the implausible claims of vaccines being the carriers of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) microchips, impairing the reproductive systems, converting humans to hybrids, and the misconceptions about herd immunity. A consequential role of media was observed in keeping the world updated and motivated by tracking the vaccine number, distribution and deployment through live dashboards. We saw an upward trend in vaccination numbers with media campaigns, social media vaccination surveys, and socio-medico evidence. Thus, we have proposed a model for developing public awareness and health promotion using media as a tool for better distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines. With this, health organizations can gain widespread public trust, manage anti-vaccine movements, overcome threats faced due to vaccine conspiracy theories and eventually overcome the COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Author info

Meryem Malik, Ayesha Anwar, Vaneeza Raees, Maryem Anwar, Anjum Anwar

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