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Attempts to Curb COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation are Failing, Businesses Must Respond
Our latest findings show that doubts about the COVID-19 vaccine have spread beyond traditional misinformation spreaders like QAnon and Foreign influence networks.
Our work shows that when narratives travel across a large ideological distance, they are stickier with the general public.
Today, over 30% of the American public has doubts about getting vaccinated. If this number holds, the United States will not reach herd immunity against the virus.
Failed Attempts to Curb COVID-19 Vaccine Misinformation
Despite efforts by the social media platforms to reduce misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and direct their users to trusted sources of information, the volume of vaccine-related misinformation remains high.
Between January 30 and February 15, daily levels of vaccine-related misinformation were as high or higher than they were in November and December.
A Call for Brands to Fill in the Information Void
Eroding trust in government, rampant misinformation about the safety vaccines, and increased trust in businesses have left corporations as the last line of defense in the global fight against COVID-19 misinformation.
As misinformation skyrockets in the pandemic, people have come to trust businesses more than they trust NGOs, government & the media, @EdelmanPR finds. "Trust has moved local," CEO @richardwedelman explains. "There's a desperate request for quality information" from employers. pic.twitter.com/qHZUfyEnhq— Quest Means Business (@questCNN) January 27, 2021
Corporations have to make vaccine-related policy decisions that will impact their employees and consumers in an environment where a growing percentage of the population isn’t sure who or what to believe.
Research has shown that simply viewing specific vaccine disinformation makes people half as likely to get vaccinated. It is therefore essential that communications leaders get out in front of emerging vaccine misinformation narratives as they take action to inform policy decisions, educate employees, and message to their consumers.
Download our full report below and watch our webinar where we covered strategies for brands communicating, triaging incidents, and making decisions in this environment. Stay tuned as we deliver more insights around this ongoing conversation.