Internet hoaxes fan COVID vaccine hesitancy among Japanese youths

Kyodo -- Jul 17
False claims and misinformation about vaccines on social media are undermining young people's trust in COVID-19 vaccines in Japan, imperiling the government's efforts to finish large-scale inoculations by November as it pursues herd immunity.

Myths such as "vaccination causes infertility" and "coronavirus vaccines using messenger RNA change your DNA" have been widely spread, and anti-vaccination posts are rampant on Facebook and Twitter.

"There is absolutely no scientific evidence that the coronavirus vaccines will cause infertility," Taro Kono, the minister in charge of Japan's inoculation effort, said on his blog last month.

He said "vaccine hoaxes" have been spreading around the world and Japan is no exception. He urged the public to be wary of disinformation.

- Kyodo