Traditional communication and education st … Traditional communication and education strategies by public health authorities are limited in their capacity to counteract public concerns about vaccine safety.
Efforts to counter the arguments of the anti-vaccine movement, to calm fears and to provide accurate information require sustained, effective public health communication.
In order to evaluate, in real-time, Canadian Internet users’ attitudes to the safety of the H1N1 vaccine after Health Canada approved the vaccine, we surveyed a random sample of Canadian Internet users from October 27 to November 19, 2009 (Step A). In Step B, we determined which vaccine safety Internet sites were most trusted by the public by deploying a dynamic ‘Internet robot’ that informed us (i) which Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) discussing ‘myths and facts’ about the H1N1 vaccine were being most widely shared and discussed among English-language Internet users, and (ii) which Web sites, blogs, and links were being shared on social media sites. s were being shared on social media sites.