Twitter 'most popular' network for vaccine-related information: study

Washington, May 31 (ANI): Twitter is the most popular and reliable source for receiving and sharing new information about vaccines, a recent study has revealed.

A total of 9510 vaccination-related tweets have been analyzed by researchers from the University of Texas to determine the most popular and influential messages.

The researchers coded the tweets for frequency of sharing, tone toward vaccinations and links to sources such as news outlets, advocacy groups, or healthcare providers and also checked whether the claims being made in each tweet were scientifically substantiated.

The study revealed that 33 percent of the 2,580 tweets carried a positive tone about vaccines, 54 percent were neutral, and 13 percent were negative.

Of the 14 percent of tweets that contained medical information, more than two-thirds offered content substantiated by scientific research.

The researchers searched through most popular messages that were related to a potential children's malaria vaccine, development of the NeuVax E-75 vaccine for breast cancer, herpes vaccine in women, a human papilloma virus vaccination for boys, potential lung cancer vaccine, and a blog post discrediting vaccine-autism connections.

The authors have said that news and health organizations received mostly positive attention as compared to political or advocacy groups, indicating that users are favorably viewing established sources in their health-information seeking.

Twitter users share mostly reputable information and sources while actively mobilizing others to seek reliable health information, which can be of aid to educational campaigns. (ANI)

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