It’s been a long, difficult year and people are understandably anxious to put the pandemic behind us. So when news reports began circulating that a COVID-19 vaccine was coming, there was a collective sigh of relief. Finally, we thought, we can get back to normal.
But as the vaccine rollout has begun, we’ve seen a resurgence of misinformation and conspiracy theories about the vaccine, with some people flat-out refusing to get it. In a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 50% of people said they would get a vaccine when it became available to them.
Part of the problem is that we’re living in an age of distrust. We don’t trust our institutions, our government or even each other. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to something as important as our health, we’re skeptical.
The good news is that there are things we can do to increase our trust in the vaccine and in the experts who are telling us to get it.
For starters, we need to be more media literate. We need to learn how to spot fake news and misinformation. We need to fact-check everything we read, see or hear.
We also need to remember that the experts are almost always right. The scientists and doctors who have spent their careers studying infectious diseases are the people we should be listening to, not some random person on social media.
And finally, we need to trust our own instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, we should question it. But if the experts are telling us something is safe, we should trust that they know what they’re talking about.
The bottom line is that getting the COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most important things we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones. We need to be careful about the information we consume and trust the experts who are telling us to get vaccinated.
A flurry of activity and excitement is building around the release of several COVID-19 vaccines. Health officials say that these vaccines are safe and effective, but some people are still hesitant to get vaccinated. Why is this?
Part of the reason may be that people don’t trust the experts. A recent poll showed that only about half of Americans say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the scientific community. This is a significant decline from previous years.
But it’s not just the experts that people are skeptical of. The media is also seen as untrustworthy by many. In the same poll, only 29% of respondents said they had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the media.
So, what can be done to increase trust in the experts and the media? One solution is to increase media literacy.
Media literacy is the ability to critically analyze the media and to understand how it works. It includes things like being able to identify bias, spot fake news, and understand the difference between fact and opinion.
Teaching people to be media literate can help them to be more critical consumers of information. And, when people are better able to discern between reliable and unreliable sources, they are more likely to trust the experts.
There are many organizations that offer resources on media literacy. One such organization is the Media Literacy Project. They have a website (medialiteracyproject.org) that provides a wealth of information on the topic.
Increasing media literacy is a important step in increasing trust in the experts and the media. It can help people to make more informed decisions about things like whether or not to get a COVID-19 vaccine.