BMJ Open Study Finds Misinformation in Mainstream Media is Rare, but Spreads Widely

June 6, 2022 – Vaccinate Your Family and partners at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Alliance for Science at the Boyce Thompson Institute, and Cision, recently published a study in BMJ Open demonstrating that while COVID vaccine misinformation in mainstream media is uncommon when it does appear it spreads widely.

Between July 27, 2020 and June 30, 2021, 3.2 percent of all COVID-19 vaccine articles examined contained at least one of six specific misinformation themes. Over 56 percent contained at least one mention of a Safety theme, which included false claims that vaccines might variously cause death, DNA or RNA alteration, autism, COVID-19, unverified side effects, or that the vaccines included dangerous chemicals.

“Misinformation about vaccines can have deadly consequences,” said Amy Pisani, Chief Executive Officer for Vaccinate Your Family. “This study shows that many of the world’s largest media outlets are thankfully taking this issue very seriously, but more needs to be done to ensure people get the accurate, science-based information they need to make truly informed decisions about vaccines for themselves and their families.”

Read the full press release here.

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