The antivaccination movement has been a driving force in the global measles outbreaks, and dissemination of inaccurate information has contributed to the growing problem.
The antivaccination movement has been a driving force in the global measles outbreaks, and dissemination of inaccurate information has contributed to the growing problem. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has named vaccine hesitancy as one of the ten global threats of 2019.1
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.