Dr. Argyris Research Team's New Study
Our research team’s new study on the impact of social media on vaccine uptake. These past few weeks Dr. Argyris and this research team have started looking into keywords that are commonly used in vaccine related posts on social media. 84% of adults in the United States use some social media site, and as the Covid-19 pandemic has continued to threaten normal life activities even with several highly effective vaccines available it is obvious that social media posts are an important part of the American public’s media ecosystem regarding health and news topics.
Our keyword search led to a variety of trending hashtags and topics from the literature, media headlines, and social media trending topics pages. Common pro-vaccine keywords were “vaccines save lives” and “get vaxxed” while common anti-vaccine keywords were “CDC fraud” and “CDC whistleblower”. Our hope is that we are able to use these and many more keywords to gather data from social media that will assist us in discovering how vaccine posts change and influence vaccine uptake rates during a pandemic. This is critically important for managing and preventing disease spread in any future pandemic. The study will be tested through two specific aims:
Specific Aim 1) Develop a vaccine misinformation portal to identify the frequency and valence of vaccine debate during and following the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic baseline;
Specific Aim 2) Apply this system to identify the causal impact of vaccine posts on immunization rates during the pandemic.
Stay tuned for more blog posts as we continue to develop this and other research projects as a team!