Published on 03 Nov 2022

Understanding how news works can short-circuit the connection between social media use and vaccine hesitancy

The Conversation (Australia), 3 Nov
- Similar reports in 40 news outlets including Yahoo! News (US), The Houston Chronicle (US), Chron (US), MSN Israel, New Haven Register (US),

People who consume a lot of news on social media are more likely to be skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines and also more hesitant about getting vaccinated, according to newly published research by the University of California, Davis, and NTU. But the researchers, including Asst Prof Saifuddin Ahmed from NTU’s WKWSCI, found that social media users with higher levels of news literacy have more confidence in COVID-19 shots. Other research has found that heavy reliance on social media exposed individuals to misinformation related to COVID-19, especially on the efficacy of vaccines.

In the latest study, participants with low levels of news literacy were more likely to be vaccine hesitant than those with moderate or high levels of news literacy.