Research Publication Title

Scientific Misinformation and Its Effects on Children

Presenter Information

Morgan SladeFollow

Major

Biology

Faculty Mentor

Jamie Addy

Keywords

scientific misinformation, autism, MMR vaccination, herd immunity, pertussis, Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB)

Abstract

There are people, mainly children, dying from vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB), measles, pertussis, and many other preventable diseases for which there are solutions. One explanation for this phenomenon is the plethora of scientific misinformation that has been released in the current age of Google and other digital sources of information. Faulty information from social media, bogus articles, word of mouth, errors in logic, and “holistic” care providers are causing vaccination and other important injection rates to decline at an exponential rate. With the ability to obtain easy access to information, knowing how to determine reliable information from unreliable information is a crucial skill and can have dire medical consequences if misinformation is allowed to flourish. The absence of scientific literacy and exuberance of scientific misinformation is affecting vaccine rates and vitamin K shot refusal rates within the past decade. In summary, this paper discusses the potential negative health effects that medical misinformation and scientific illiteracy can have on children, and uses credible sources to debunk several persistent myths about childhood injectables.

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Scientific Misinformation and Its Effects on Children

There are people, mainly children, dying from vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB), measles, pertussis, and many other preventable diseases for which there are solutions. One explanation for this phenomenon is the plethora of scientific misinformation that has been released in the current age of Google and other digital sources of information. Faulty information from social media, bogus articles, word of mouth, errors in logic, and “holistic” care providers are causing vaccination and other important injection rates to decline at an exponential rate. With the ability to obtain easy access to information, knowing how to determine reliable information from unreliable information is a crucial skill and can have dire medical consequences if misinformation is allowed to flourish. The absence of scientific literacy and exuberance of scientific misinformation is affecting vaccine rates and vitamin K shot refusal rates within the past decade. In summary, this paper discusses the potential negative health effects that medical misinformation and scientific illiteracy can have on children, and uses credible sources to debunk several persistent myths about childhood injectables.