skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

MO groups dispel online vaccination misinformation

play audio
Play

Wednesday, January 17, 2024   

Public health experts are saying the rapid spread of health misinformation online is contributing to a dangerous decline in vaccination rates and an increase in illness.

Surveys show the percentage of Americans who believe vaccines are unsafe has nearly doubled since 2021, as social media users have falsely claimed approved vaccines can cause autism, cancer or infertility.

Molly Crisp, senior communication strategist at the Missouri Foundation for Health, said public health departments should make sure they are partnering with trusted messengers to avoid damaging results.

"Whether that's working with community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, social media influencers, community leaders," Crisp outlined. "Whoever in the community is considered a trusted messenger, to make sure that everyone is getting the information they need to be healthy."

Crisp added Missourians are often not exposed to credible health sources, or even to contradictory views, due to online-use algorithms. She observed until more is done to fight misinformation, individuals are left to discern what is true. In 2021, Missouri Foundation for Health partnered with professional communications firms to help determine how to build confidence in COVID vaccines.

Studies show misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines has cost the U.S. up to $300 million a day in health care and economic losses since 2021. It's also contributed to an estimated 300,000 preventable deaths of unvaccinated individuals.

Monica Wang, associate professor of community health at Boston University, said with COVID-19 cases on the increase, scientists can also use social media to regain the public's trust.

"We as researchers can do a better job about communicating our science," Wang acknowledged. "That means we start communicating our results and our processes in language that's easy and accessible for everyday people to understand."

Wang urged social media users to look for health information from established medical institutions and avoid content making sensational health claims. She added when in doubt, do not share information lacking scientific credentials.

Disclosure: The Missouri Foundation for Health contributes to our fund for reporting on Gun Violence Prevention, Health Issues, Philanthropy, Reproductive Health. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Coal production in the Powder River Basin was 50% lower in the first quarter of 2024 than the first quarter of 2014, by about 49 million tons. (Robert Coy/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new policy could affect the future of coal mining in the Powder River Basin and in turn, Wyoming's tax structure. The Powder River Basin produced …


Social Issues

play sound

Health care advocates are speaking out against proposed cuts to a California program that provides in-home care aides to low-income seniors and people…

Health and Wellness

play sound

Children's advocates are pressing California lawmakers to pass a bill that would increase oversight on health plans when they deny mental health servi…


Social Issues

play sound

The nonprofit Save the Children is working with child care centers along the Mississippi coast, with plans and tools to help them reopen or resume …

Michigan consistently ranks high as a state for contact volume to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, with the 11th-highest rate in the nation in 2023. (Africa Studio)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Four years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are still studying its effects on society. A new report focusing on domestic …

Environment

play sound

Arizona is already warming up, and a new report sheds light on how climate change is intensifying that heat. Last year, just under 650 heat-…

Social Issues

play sound

Residents of north Texas continue to clean up after the latest in a string of deadly tornadoes. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-2 …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021