Narratives and storytelling can help counter vaccine misinformation as the method can create a bridge between scientific evidence and human experience.
Recently, the WHO declared vaccine hesitancy one of the top ten international public health problems. They report the crisis is man-made, unnecessary and dangerous. Researchers are calling on search engines and social media organizations to do more to stem anti-vaccine rhetoric, and stop the spread of disinformation surrounding vaccinations. They also call for governments to better support mandatory immunization programs.
From anti-vaccine rhetoric to the over-prescription of antibiotics, researchers suggest we should try to work together to improve public health, rather than socially shun those who ignore scientific evidence.
Researchers report one method to help combat anti-vaccine information and reduce vaccine hesitancy is to introduce those with negative views about immunizations to someone who has suffered a vaccine-preventable disease. The study reports 70% of students who were exposed to someone with a vaccine-preventable disease moved from vaccine hesitancy to pro-vaccine. Overall, 75% of those who were anti-vaccine increased their vaccine attitude scores, with 50% moving to a pro-vaccine stance.