CPHA Canvax

CANVax in Brief are short evidence based articles published monthly, 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 occasionally by invited topic experts prior to publication. If you have questions about CANVax in Brief, contact us.  
 

Misconceptions

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.