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Opponents and social media : researchers explore conspiracy theories

Facebook, YouTube and co. are in Impfgegnern popular platforms, in order to make sentiment against the Vaccination. The oft-cited fear that vaccinations autism or other would trigger health problems, but there is only one Argument of many. This is reported by researchers of the University of Pittsburgh in the journal "Vaccine". Other reasons for lack of confidence in the science, in favor of alternative medicine such as homeopathy and conspiracy theories.

opponents assert, for years a connection between the standard vaccination against measles-Mumps-rubella and the development of autism. They rely on an article by the British doctor Andrew Wakefield in 1998 published in the journal "The Lancet". The Journal withdrew the study in 2010 because of falsified data, Wakefield lost in the UK, his medical license due to unethical behavior. However, his claims fall on fertile ground.

However, the fear of autism is only an Argument of Impfgegnern. The analysis impfkritischer Facebook Postings of 197 individuals that commented on the Impfvideo a U.S. children's hospital. The Team led by Brian Primack of the University of Pittsburgh evaluated the Facebook Profiles of the commentators according to socio-demographic factors.

in Addition, the researchers analyzed impfkritische contributions of these individuals from the past two years. "We want to understand impfkritische parents, to give Doctors the opportunity to communicate with you and respectfully about the importance of immunization," says Primack, in a communication to the study.

The result: most of The commentators were mothers. Those whose Facebook profile is allowed to draw conclusions on their political affiliations, were to 56 percent of supporters of US President Donald Trump. However, the commentators were drawn from a total of eight countries. The content of the Postings were four main arguments:

Under the keyword "trust", the researchers collected contributions, the mistrust brought to the scientific and especially the medical Community.

"Alternatives" related posts, which focused on the vaccination of chemicals contained focus and, instead, homeopathic remedies propagated.

"security," included those comments, in which it was feared Impfrisiken, such as the fear of autism.

"conspiracy" describes, finally, those contributions which argued that governments or other organisations to keep information about the dangers of vaccination.

does not mean The identification of these four groups, flat-rate messages for the Vaccination work, explains Co-author Beth Hoffman. "It is said about someone from the "trusted"group that vaccinations trigger autism, not reach him, because that is his concern."

Need to medical professionals be active on Social Media channels?

Rather, it is important to develop tailor-made messages. In addition, the authors of the study argue for a better mediation of media competence, more engaging education and more Social Media activities of physicians in relevant Online discussions.

of The düsseldorf children's and Youth medicine Hermann-Josef Kahl just keeps the latest proposal for not a viable solution, because simply there was no time. In addition, the opponents are less of a Problem, but rather that many parents forget vaccination dates. "To do in practice, is not controlled in case of doubt, perhaps, of vaccination certificate," stressed the spokesman of the professional Association of child and youth doctors (BVKJ). And parents, the vaccinations would be skeptical, had Fears that he could remove them in the 15 to 30 minutes per treatment. Even less successful this time, convinced opponents.

The children's gastroenterologist and General Secretary of the German society for child and youth medicine (DGKJ), Burkhard Rodeck, advises, to distinguish between impfkritischen and dogmatic parents: the Former are arguments still accessible, the latter not. In Germany, a good ten percent of the population, vaccination would be skeptical of – but only a small part of them reject you basically.

Therefore, the head of the child gastroenterology at the Christian children's hospital Osnabrück Persuasion thinks is important: "We need a vaccination coverage of over 95 per cent, of diseases to eradicate." In Germany, many people in the scientific community would no longer trust, apathy: "A designation such as "children's disease" sounds cute, but just the example of measles shows that such diseases have a high potential for complications, and still lethal."

Rodeck calls for wide-scale information campaigns to emphasize the importance of vaccination for each Individual, but also for the community. Also important is the removal of practical barriers, such as through reminder systems and late Impfsprechstunden for professionals. In addition, the staff should be made in day-care centres and schools fit for the theme.

vaccination could act as a deterrent

A General vaccination looks Rodeck not uncritical: "such An authoritative strategy is more likely to be deterred and has not proved successful in neighbouring European countries in the result." Here Bald is a different opinion: The BVKJ advocate for a legal vaccination in order to achieve the so-called "herd protection", in addition, only vaccinated children in a kindergarten.

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For even better Bald, however, sees the introduction of a national Impfregisters. So you knew exactly how many people were vaccinated.

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