Younger Ontarians spreading most misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines: report


Published January 20, 2021 at 11:46 pm


Ontario doctors are disseminating information about the COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to help counter misinformation being spread on social media.

With the number of daily cases consistently in the four-digit range, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) is concerned with the amount of misinformation related to how thoroughly the vaccines were tested as well as the extent of side effects, which is being shared widely on social media, especially by people under 25, and those between 25 and 34, which could dissuade people from getting the vaccine.

“We, as doctors, want to do everything we can to address every patient’s concerns,” Samantha Hill, president of the OMA, said in a news release.

“If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, or any other health issue, ask trusted sources such as doctors who have the facts to turn vaccine hesitancy into vaccine confidence. This report helps us better understand where some of the fear and hesitancy is coming from so we are better able to respond,” she continued.

According to the latest data from the OMA, many Ontarians under the age of 25 believe the is dangerous, “untested” and “largely experimental.”

Additionally, many between the ages of 25 and 34 also subscribe to conspiracy theories, such as the belief that COVID-19 is a genetically engineered virus so no vaccine can be trusted. Those in this group are likely to oppose employers’ abilities to force employees to get vaccinated.

Further, Ontarians between the ages of 35 and 44 are supportive of the vaccines, but frustrated with the way the government has supplied them—particularly the shutdown over the holidays. They want the government to speed up the process.

Moreover, Ontarians between the ages of 45 and 65 are also frustrated with the speed (or lack thereof) at which the vaccine is being distributed—they want clarification about where the vaccines have gone and more transparency about the next steps.

“Ontario’s doctors are committed to helping everyone make an informed decision by providing accurate, evidence-based facts,” Allan O’Dette, CEO of the OMA, said in the same release.

“The facts will help us all make the right decision for ourselves, our families, and our communities,” he continued.

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