Scientists and medical employees are utilizing TikTok to bust myths about Covid-19 vaccine
ONs Vaccines are being introduced all over the world. Eliminating misunderstandings about COVID-19 has never been more important. This prompted academics and health care workers to turn to social media platforms like TikTok to do their bit.
In the first quarter of 2020 alone – when much of the world was blocked – the video sharing app was downloaded 315 million times.
While many use the app for entertainment, others use the platform to address far more serious matters.
TikTok user and PhD student Dr Noc – real name Morgan McSweeney – uses the app to clear up misunderstandings about COVID-19 and the vaccines developed to fight the disease.
In a January 12 post, he tries to bring the number of COVID-19 deaths in the US to more than 372,000 followers in the past week.
“I know there are a lot of people out there who are rejecting the right … so I’ll give you some context about the current COVID surge,” he says on the TikTok video. “Last year – all year, all of the 2020 flu season – there were about 20,000 to 60,000 deaths from influenza.
“In the last week – the last week – of that spike in COVID, there have been over 20,000 deaths. That’s pretty bad. “
Medical staff address the myths of Covid-19
Christina Kim is an oncology nurse with more than 231,000 followers who went to TikTok themselves after noticing videos containing false information about COVID. She told Wired, “I was so shocked to be exposed to this human world – people who didn’t believe in science.”
In the meantime, Dr. Rose Marie Leslie, a senior family medicine practitioner at the University of Minnesota Medical School, TikTok, to address a range of medical issues, including sexual health issues, for young people who often don’t know where to look for such information.
But she also addresses issues related to COVID-19 and Hervideo, which include more than 970,000 views about the side effects she had from the vaccine.
Also read: Japan discovers 3 new types of UK coronavirus strains
Great way to target younger people
Videos like this one can prove crucial in tackling COVID-19 myths on a social media network known for its popularity with younger people.
TikTok’s popularity could be especially important when it comes to promoting vaccination among young people who are more skeptical of vaccines than older age groups.
For example, in the US, just over half (55%) of those under 30 said they were definitely or likely to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, compared to 75% of those over 65, according to a survey by Pew Research Center.
Since a specific segment of the population must be protected for successful vaccination programs, the inclusion of all age groups is crucial to end the pandemic.
The WHO warns that an “infodemia” is undermining the global response
COVID-19 marks the first pandemic where technology and social media were available to keep people informed. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of the dangers of social media, which enables and exacerbates what is known as “infodemia”, the spread of misinformation that can undermine the global response.
In the worst case, misinformation can cost lives. But it can also lead to social divisions by polarizing public debate, intensifying hate speech and increasing the risk of conflict, violence and human rights violations, warns the WHO.
The organization has published guidelines on reporting false and potentially harmful COVID-19 information on a number of online platforms, while a Mythbusters section on the WHO website addresses claims about whether consuming garlic can protect against coronavirus ( this is not the case) ).
Social media to combat misleading information
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter also post warnings about shared content that can be misleading and encourage users to refer to sources like the WHO. Meanwhile, YouTube has vowed to remove misinformation about vaccines.
With the support of content creators like Dr Noc, such online platforms could also prove to be an important secondary tool in ending the pandemic.
This article was first published in the World Economic Forum.
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