Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, received her PharmD degree from Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Pharmacy in 2006 and completed a 2-year drug information residency. She served as a pharmacy professor at NSUâ€™s College of Pharmacy for 6 years, managed the drug information center, and conducted medication therapy management reviews. Dr. Gershman has published research on prescription drug abuse, regulatory issues, and drug information in various scholarly journals. Additionally, she received the Sheriffâ€™s Special Recognition Award for her collaboration with the Broward, Florida Sheriffâ€™s Office to prevent prescription drug abuse through a drug disposal program. She has also presented at pharmacist and physician continuing education programs on topics that include medication errors, prescription drug abuse, and legal and regulatory issues. Dr. Gershman can be followed on Twitter @jgershman2
In 2019 alone, as of August 22, 2019, there have been 1215 measles cases confirmed across 30 states.2 The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the most effective way to prevent measles.
Pinterest, a social media platform, recently announced it is providing vaccine-related searches that contain authoritative information from reputable resources such as WHO, CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the WHO-established Vaccine Safety Net.3 Reliable vaccine health information will be displayed when users search for “measles,” “vaccine safety,” and other related terms on the web and through the mobile apps. Last year, Pinterest also began to tackle the antivaccination movement when they stopped showing search results that included vaccine misinformation.3
Expert vaccine-related health information will be displayed on Pinterest, and recommendations or comments on Pins in these search results will not be shown.3 Additionally, Pinterest will remove vaccine misinformation, as well as accounts that spread inaccurate content.
Ifeoma Ozoma, Public Policy and Social Impact Manager of Pinterest said in a statement, “We know we aren’t medical experts, which is why we’re working with professionals to inspire Pinners with reliable information about health.”3
Pinterest is also collaborating with organizations such as AAP to develop creative resources for Pins on vaccine health facts.4
All of these efforts can help to provide accurate vaccine-related health information to combat the anti-vaccination movement. Pharmacists can also play a crucial role in educating the public on social media about the important of vaccines. Individuals should be educated about the negative health consequences of not immunizing children and adults, especially emphasizing the importance of the MMR vaccine. Parents should be reminded about serious health complications associated with measles, such as pneumonia, encephalitis, permanent hearing loss, hospitalization, and death.
- WHO. Ten threats to global health in 2019. WHO website. https://www.who.int/emergencies/ten-threats-to-global-health-in-2019. Accessed August 30, 2019.
- Measles cases and outbreaks. CDC website. https://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html. Accessed August 30, 2019.
- Bringing authoritative vaccine results to Pinterest search [news release]. San Francisco, CA; August 28, 2019: Pinterest website. https://newsroom.pinterest.com/en/post/bringing-authoritative-vaccine-results-to-pinterest-search. Accessed August 30, 2019.
- Jenco M. AAP, Pinterest partner to fight vaccine misinformation. AAP website. https://www.aappublications.org/news/2019/08/28/pinterestvaccines082819. Published August 28, 2019. Accessed August 30, 2019.