CPHA Canvax

CANVax in Brief are short evidence-based articles that aim to inform, engage and inspire its readers by bringing attention to current and emerging issues in immunization, and by profiling initiatives and activities from across Canada that aim to improve vaccine acceptance and uptake.

Contributions to CANVax in Brief are by invitation only. All articles are reviewed by CANVax staff and by the Expert Review Panel as part of the peer-review process prior to publication. If you have questions about CANVax in Brief, contact us

CANVax Brief Series - CANVax is collaborating with Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) to publish short evidence-based briefs from our CANVax in Brief series throughout 2020. You can read our articles here.

 

Misconceptions

June 12, 2020

Beware the public opinion survey's contribution to misinformation and disinformation in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Noni E. MacDonald, Eve Dubé, Devon Greyson D, Janice E. Graham

The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by an "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation. Given the large degree of uncertainty, the complexity of the science, and rapidly evolving knowledge, well-intentioned misinformation is not surprising. As scientists race to understand a new disease, partial information and guesswork fill the gap until reliable research evidence is established. Unfortunately, disinformation, defined as deliberately false or misleading information, can be expected when crises are used as opportunities to make money or to undermine existing institutions, including education and health care systems.


January 2, 2019

Fake News and Science Denier Attacks on Vaccines. What can healthcare professionals do?

Noni MacDonald - Professor of Paediatrics (Infectious Diseases)

Never before has the public been so bombarded by information, nor has it ever been so difficult to know what and who to believe. Misinformation is contagious; with fake news travelling faster and farther than truth. Science deniers, including vaccine science deniers, have a strong and very effective platform now - the web - from which to shill their scientifically bankrupt wares. We, who understand the rigor of science and know the evidence supporting immunization for health and well-being, are often aghast at the falsehoods being promulgated - and indeed- too often accepted and acted upon by members of the public. For example, in the US, the variation HPV vaccine uptake across the country is better explained by exposure to tweets about HPV than by socioeconomic class data.