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Advocacy, Hesitancy, and Equity: Exploring U.S. Race-Related Discussions of the COVID-19 Vaccine on Twitter

1
Department of Health Sciences, Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613, USA
2
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
3
Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(11), 5693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115693
Received: 27 April 2021 / Revised: 19 May 2021 / Accepted: 21 May 2021 / Published: 26 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data for the Advancement of Health Equity)
Background: Our study aimed to describe themes of tweets related to COVID-19 vaccines, race, and ethnicity to explore the context of the intersection of these topics on Twitter. Methods: We utilized Twitter’s Streaming Application Programming Interface (API) to collect a random 1% sample of publicly available tweets from October 2020 to January 2021. The study team conducted a qualitative content analysis from the full data set of 1110 tweets. Results: The tweets revealed vaccine support through vaccine affirmation, advocacy through reproach, a need for a vaccine, COVID-19 and racism, vaccine development and efficacy, racist vaccine humor, and news updates. Vaccine opposition was demonstrated through direct opposition, vaccine hesitancy, and adverse reactions. Conspiracy and misinformation included scientific misinformation, political misinformation, beliefs about immunity and protective behaviors, and race extermination conspiracy. Equity and access focused on overcoming history of medical racism, pointing out health disparities, and facilitators to vaccine access. Representation touted pride in development and role models, and politics discussed the role of politics in vaccines and international politics. Conclusion: Our analysis demonstrates that Twitter can provide nuances about multiple viewpoints on the vaccine related to race and ethnicity and can be beneficial in contributing to insights for public health messaging. View Full-Text
Keywords: social media; Twitter; vaccine; vaccine hesitancy; content analysis; people of color social media; Twitter; vaccine; vaccine hesitancy; content analysis; people of color
MDPI and ACS Style

Criss, S.; Nguyen, T.T.; Norton, S.; Virani, I.; Titherington, E.; Tillmanns, E.L.; Kinnane, C.; Maiolo, G.; Kirby, A.B.; Gee, G.C. Advocacy, Hesitancy, and Equity: Exploring U.S. Race-Related Discussions of the COVID-19 Vaccine on Twitter. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5693. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115693

AMA Style

Criss S, Nguyen TT, Norton S, Virani I, Titherington E, Tillmanns EL, Kinnane C, Maiolo G, Kirby AB, Gee GC. Advocacy, Hesitancy, and Equity: Exploring U.S. Race-Related Discussions of the COVID-19 Vaccine on Twitter. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(11):5693. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115693

Chicago/Turabian Style

Criss, Shaniece, Thu T. Nguyen, Samantha Norton, Imaya Virani, Eli Titherington, Emma L. Tillmanns, Courtney Kinnane, Gabrielle Maiolo, Anne B. Kirby, and Gilbert C. Gee 2021. "Advocacy, Hesitancy, and Equity: Exploring U.S. Race-Related Discussions of the COVID-19 Vaccine on Twitter" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 11: 5693. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18115693

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