The virus of false news: anti-vaccine, are harmful in the fight against the pandemic

Le virus des fausses nouvelles: les anti-vaccins, nuisibles dans la lutte contre la pandémie

Kathryne Lamontagne

By encouraging people not to get vaccinated or to ignore the sanitary measures in place, the disinformation of the mass in which we are witnessing since the beginning of the crisis could affect dangerously to the fight against the sars coronavirus.

At the end of April, the director WHO sounded the alarm. “Myths and misinformation about vaccines are only throw oil on the fire,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, raising the danger of false news in the wake of the COVID-19.

All the experts with whom The Journal spoke to had the same concern.

“The false news and conspiracy theories create on social networks an environment that is anxiety-provoking, which give the vaccine as well as this idea that it’s scary, that there are risks behind it,” says Jonathan Jarry, a science communicator for the Organization— for science and society at McGill University.

According to various surveys conducted in Canada, in France and in the United States, approximately 25% of the population is reluctant or refuses to get vaccinated against the COVID-19, reports the anthropologist of health, Eve Dubé.

Perpetuate the problem

For the researcher, québec Denis Leclerc, there is no doubt that the anti-vaccine— will put sticks in the wheels of the science in the course of the next few months.

“It is nice to have an effective vaccine, but still it is necessary that people take,” says the microbiologist and infectiologist, who is working on the development of a cure for the COVID-19.

“When we hear that children in England are in the intensive care for complications of measles, even if one knows that one has a vaccine since the 1960s, we realize that this war [of the vaccination] is not won yet,” adds he.

And as the vaccine will be the only solution to the crisis, according to the scientists, it was difficult to vaccinate on a large scale could well perpetuate the problem.

“If the people don’t take the vaccine, it is sure that it will help to ensure that the pandemic will continue. It is necessary that the world accepts it, just, “continues the expert, who called the method vaccination of the” what medicine did best “.

False cures

By the arrival of a vaccine, the misinformation related to the false cures may also represent a public health challenge.

“It is really dangerous. People may think they are protected because they are exposed to the sun for 15 minutes or they have eaten garlic. Because they think they are immune, they put themselves in danger by exposing themselves to the virus, for an example the professor of communications Marie-Eve Carignan.

Ditto for those who are convinced of the effectiveness of the natural immunity and who, voluntarily, have refused to apply the measures of social distancing.

“These people will gather, catch the disease, bring it back to their circle, their family. It is disturbing, statue Jonathan Jarry.

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