Today’s livestream with Dr. Amelia Burke-Garcia, an award-winning digital health communicator and researcher with nearly 20 years of experience, and Dr. Amy Leader, an Associate Professor in the Division of Population Science, Department of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, focuses on Dr. Burke-Garcia’s and Dr. Leader’s just-released article in the Journal Vaccine about the messages and motivations of social media influencers who are hesitant or refuse vaccination. The livestream is happening just as the U.S. federal government is rolling out vaccines against the COVID-19 virus that’s caused the deaths of more than 300,000 Americans and rising.
Topics discussed include:
- What led Drs. Burke-Garcia and Leader to initiate this research
- Research results that surprised them
- Whether their research findings make them more or less concerned – on a human level, not as an academic – about the chances for success of future public health efforts involving vaccinations?
- The lessons policymakers, health professionals and others responsible for the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine should draw from their research
- Thoughts on why anti-vaccine messages receive more attention across social media than positive messages
- Their reactions to the comment of one of their interviewees in their study who said: “There was never any framing of vaccinations in a negative light growing up. It was just something you did.” Why messages and attitudes about vaccinations have changed
- The distinctly different way respondents viewed individual decisions about vaccination that affect their families compared to how these decisions impact communities, with implications for mask-wearing during the pandemic
- The power of storytelling to persuade
- Looking at the current campaign to inoculate against COVID-19 and knowing what they do about vaccine hesitant or refusing social media influencers, what recommendations they would give to those developing and implementing the COVID-19 vaccination program