The impact of social media interventions on adult influenza vaccination: A systematic review
This article was sponsored by CSL Seqirus. CSL Seqirus had no involvement in the writing or editorial process of this article.
Despite recent interest around the impact of social media on COVID-19 vaccine uptake, there has not been a review of social media and adult ‘flu vaccinations. This review aims to look at whether social media interventions can improve ‘flu vaccine knowledge, intention to vaccinate and increase vaccine uptake.
We conducted a rapid systematic review of controlled intervention and observational studies that used existing social networks on commercial platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Eight studies met our inclusion criteria. Due to heterogeneity in design, studies were thematically analyzed. Employment of influencers, multi-tasking, and the use of a verified source for information can impact positively on vaccine knowledge and intention to vaccinate. Interactions with postings tended to reinforce preconceived ideas.
Social media interventions can help to improve knowledge about ‘flu vaccine and intention to vaccinate but access to services remain a better determinant of vaccine uptake.
Social media as a source of vaccination information and a communication tool to increase adherence to vaccination came into prominence with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2020 (Benis et al, 2021; Baines et al, 2021). Around this time, there was emerging evidence that social media influencers could increase positive beliefs about influenza (‘flu) vaccines (Bonnevie et al, 2021), building on previous work that social media could improve vaccine acceptance beyond traditional campaigns. (Limaye et al, 2021; Moorhead at al 2013; Connolly and Reb, 2012; Frew et al, 2012). However, social media has purposefully misinformed and promoted anti-vaccination messages (Wawrzuta et al, 2021) which can be difficult to reverse (Steffens et al, 2019). Pro-vaccine messaging also attracts negative comments from highly organized vaccine opponents (Bonnevie et al, 2019).
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