Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Health-care workers promote positive messaging about vaccines through social-media campaign

A new social-media campaign aims to fight misinformation and promote positive messaging about the coronavirus vaccine through a network of more than 25,000 health-care workers nationwide. Founded by Atul Nakhasi, a 33-year-old doctor in Los Angeles, #ThisIsOurShot hopes to influence the public conversation through "collective impact," Allyson Chiu reports for The Washington Post.

Like many other health-care workers, Nakhasi spends a considerable amount of time on social media fighting misinformation. "You wrap up your day, and you’re hoping the fight ends," Nakhasi told Chiu. "You’re fighting for lives that whole day … keeping people here to the next morning. And then you get home and you feel like the fight never stopped. It just changed turf. The landscape just changed."

Jennifer Bacani McKenney, a county health officer and family medicine doctor in Fredonia, Kansas (pop. 2,500), "responds to a daily flood of pandemic-related texts and social media messages while running her clinic and taking emergency room shifts," Chiu reports.

McKenney told Chiu that the misinformation is "one of our worst enemies" and said it was "almost worse than the virus itself . . . We have strategies to deal with the virus. There’s not a great strategy to deal with the random memes, or the stuff that’s presented as data that’s not actual data, or the bogus YouTube videos or whatever that look like they’re scientific and there’s no basis. It’s amazing the people that believe it and share it, and there’s not a strategy against that."

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