IN Researchers Track COVID Vaccine Uptake, Online Misinformation
Friday, March 5, 2021
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana has a somewhat high rate of COVID vaccine refusal, and researchers are investigating whether false information online is planting seeds of doubt.
Indiana University's Observatory on Social Media has an online dashboard, called CoVaxxy, which tracks daily data on vaccine uptake.
It also tracks posts on social media that include certain vaccine-related keywords.
John Bryden, executive director for the Observatory, said there are some wild theories about the safety of the vaccine and its availability.
"And I know from personal experience, you only need to see one message and immediately, you have doubt," Bryden explained. "I had to go and actually check the facts myself to reassure myself."
The latest dashboard data indicate a 35% rate of vaccine hesitancy in Indiana, compared to a high of 45% in North Dakota and a low of 16% in Massachusetts.
So far, 9% of Indiana's population has been fully vaccinated, which is a higher percentage than in bordering states.
CoVaxxy is interactive and includes information on the most-shared low- and high-credibility sources, hashtag use, geography and political affiliation.
Bryden noted two trends emerging from what they've collected so far.
"There's a strong relationship between more Republican states being more hesitant to take the vaccine," Bryden observed. "But we're also getting a sense that the states that are spreading more misinformation, even Democrat ones, are actually more hesitant as well."
Indiana just extended its vaccine distribution to include anyone age 50 and older, and teachers of all ages.
The state has used 80% of vaccines it has received for distribution.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …
Health and Wellness
BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …
OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …
CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …
BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …
PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …
ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Gov. Mike Parson is facing calls to get the Missouri Cybersecurity Commission off the ground after it was created by the …