For much of the 20th century, Americans were used to seeing people bearing the signs of past polio infection.
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Polio vaccines have been a massive public health victory in the US. But purely celebratory messaging overlooks the ongoing threat if vaccination rates fall.
Fear-based public health messaging can both motivate and alienate at-risk groups.
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Prejudice and stigma can discourage the communities most affected by infectious diseases from seeking care. Inclusive public health messaging can prevent misinformation and guide the most vulnerable.
Our study found women aren’t necessarily aware of the link between alcohol and breast cancer. And even when they are, they aren’t always able to ‘choose’ to quit.
The monkeypox pandemic has seen an increase in the use of the term “men who have sex with men.”
The term ‘MSM’ allows public health interventions to gloss over the social, political and cultural complexities of identity. But it’s not without its limitations.
Many of our interviewees didn’t see alcohol as only a bad thing and had complex reasons for their relationships with alcohol.
Vaccination can help reduce the risk of monkeypox infection.
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While the majority of monkeypox cases thus far have been recorded among men who have sex with men, everyone is still at risk of contracting the disease.
At the beginning of the vaccine rollout, First Nations people were identified as a high priority list. Despite this, access to the vaccine for First Nations communities was quite limited.
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A new study has found First Nations people in rural NSW experienced more anxiety and fear about COVID than non-Indigenous people. How did government messaging contribute to this?
The government’s new $11 million winter COVID and flu vaccine ad campaign gets some things right, but it doesn’t connect on an emotional level or address concerns about common side effects.
With mask mandates and vaccine requirements lifting, public health information remains crucial so people can weigh their own COVID-19 risks.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
To help people make informed decisions about ongoing COVID-19 risks, public health messaging needs to adapt as the pandemic evolves, just as immune systems adapt to new viruses and variants.
Contrary to the popular belief that social media creates rumours about COVID vaccine harms, new research suggests social media generally only aids the spread of these rumours.
While the vast majority of primary care providers have higher confidence in vaccines than the general public, some do not.
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Many COVID-19 vaccination campaigns encourage doctors to serve as a trusted source of vaccine information. But certain vaccine-hesitant providers may stymie these efforts.
Viewing immunity as a carpet that we weave together evokes labour and artistry, and suggests we have a role in crafting something rather than simply being acted upon by a virus.
The metaphor of a collective “carpet of immunity” invites us to imagine immunity as a collaborative project, spreading out to protect those for whom the end of mandates means increased vulnerability.
The film ‘Don’t Look Up’ warns of the dangers of ignoring the findings of science.
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Whether about a comet hitting the Earth or a virus infecting the world, fear-based messages often do not succeed at changing people’s behaviors.
Sometimes facts and statistics aren’t enough to convince someone to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
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There are a variety of reasons why people do or don’t want to be vaccinated. Depending on how they frame their messaging around vaccination, doctors can often be the deciding factor.
Protesters gather at Indiana University in June 2021 to demonstrate against mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for students, staff and faculty.
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Subtly shifting the crafting and delivery of public health messaging on COVID-19 vaccines could go a long way toward persuading many of the unvaccinated to get the shot.
When the messenger is distrusted, adherence to public health advice fails. Anti-mask protesters hold signs during a demonstration against measures taken by public health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 in St. Thomas, Ont., in November 2020.
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When politicians disregard public health directives, new research shows it causes the public to distrust governments’ handling of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crises disrupt our expectations for the future, thereby affecting our emotions, planning behaviours and identities.
When a crisis like COVID-19 disrupts expectations for the future, it also disrupts how health messaging works. Advertising research shows three ways that health campaigns can succeed in a crisis.
People wearing protective masks board a city transit bus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Feb. 19, 2021.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 messaging frames staying home as a personal responsibility, but for many it’s a luxury they can’t afford. Like the language used for drug addiction, it stigmatizes low-income people.
Public service announcements, news articles and social media posts are all part of the coronavirus messaging landscape.
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During the pandemic, clear and reliable health communication can literally be a life-and-death issue. Researchers who focus on the science of science communication highlight strategies that work.
A senior World Health Organisation envoy caused consternation by proclaiming lockdowns are not a good long-term strategy against COVID-19. But it’s true, and other subtler tactics are better in the long run.