Experts believe some vaccine hesitancy is fueled by misinformation on social media

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 8:22 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Never before has so much information been available at our fingertips. A UK journalism professor says that could be leading some untruths being shared regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We have a lot of connections to information that seems authoritative, wants to be authoritative, without any backing,” UK journalism professor Kakie Urch said.

Urch studies social media at UK. She says the problem with COVID-19 is some people want to believe what someone is posting, as opposed to the official source.

“The pandemic is moving fast, the information is moving fast, you need to go to your primary sources to make sure you know what is happening,” Urch said.

Dr. Crystal Miller works where COVID’s first case in Kentucky originated 16 months ago in Cynthiana. But now, she says many are still uncertain about the vaccine.

“But please don’t say no just because you are confused. There’s a lot of information and misinformation and I can completely understand our citizens feeling that way,” said Dr. Miller, who works with the WEDCO District Health Department.

Urch says there’s plenty of trusted people to find out what’s right.

“So they are saying if you don’t understand this, ask your doctor. Your local health department is your doctor. They have been managing every outbreak in your county since we started. 120 counties in Kentucky,” Urch said.

Dr. Miller says it’s not that people are against the vaccines— they tell her they haven’t known who to believe.

Urch tells us she also believes the confusion comes from those who believed the pandemic was over and the vaccines were not really needed.

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