Information pollution about vaccination raises concern; health sector and economy affected

Pointing out that there has been an increase in the number of people who have not made an appointment or did not go to their appointment recently, Dr. Mehmet Başcıllar said that this is due to the psychological and social reasons that come with information pollution. He emphasized that the absence of criminal sanctions is also effective in cancellation of appointments.

Information pollution about vaccination raises concern; health sector and economy affected

Stating that there have been problems in vaccination appointments due to information pollution and anxiety recently, Dr. Mehmet Başcıllar drew attention to the need to raise awareness of the public. Başcıllar explained the effects of many people not getting their vaccination appointment or going to the appointment they made on the public health, the health sector and the economy.

Stating that the Ministry of Health has been working devotedly on vaccines and vaccination appointments, Başcillar said, “We know that as of today, approximately 25 million doses of vaccine have been administered. These vaccination criteria are especially focused on certain age and population groups. Vaccination can be done by making an appointment via e-nabız, e-devlet or the central physician appointment system. Likewise, appointments can be canceled with the same procedures before the appointment. Undoubtedly, there are numerous studies on the protection and effectiveness of the vaccine against coronavirus. This is unmistakably obvious. For this reason, it turns out that the vaccine is an important requirement at the point of protecting public health.”


Emphasizing that the reason why individuals do not go to or do not get an appointment through the system can be examined in different dimensions, Başcıllar indicated that one of the reason is the lack of information and concern. “The first dimension of the problem is the fact that people do not make an appointment or do not go to their vaccination appointment when it’s their turn. It is useful to consider this as well. There may be many different factors behind these, but when we look at them in general, it is possible to consider these factors in two dimensions, psychological and social. First of all, I have to say that the number of social media users in Turkey by 2021 is 60 million, which corresponds to 70 percent of the total population. Information pollution can move and progress much faster through social media. It causes false information to reach a large number of people. This can undoubtedly raise anxiety in society. Moreover the lack of information, leaving the safe area, going to a health institution, contacting with a healthcare worker can also increase this concern.”

Noting that worry causes procrastination behavior on a psychological level, Başcillar continued his words as follows:
“There is no legal sanction for the cancellation of the appointment. This can lead to arbitrary decisions. If we look at the social dimension of the issue; the roles of people in the family matters. For example, a member may be providing care for the elderly, children, disabled people. Domestic roles may lead to the absence of vaccination appointments in Turkey, especially considering that the burden of care has to be assumed by women."         


Stating that last April, a research was conducted on the vaccine in which 428 people participated in Ankara, Başcıllar shared the following information about the research and its results:
The results of a study conducted in Ankara, in which 428 people participated, were shared with the public in a reputable international refereed journal last April. According to the results of this research, we know that approximately one out of every 4 participants stated that they were unwilling to get vaccinated, they were unwilling to get vaccinated even if the vaccines were domestic ones, they were worried about the side effects of the vaccine, they were worried because they did not have information about the content of the vaccine, or they were distant to the vaccine because it came from abroad.”


Stating that people do not have vaccination appointments or do not go to the appointment they have made can bring along many problems in both health and economics, Başcıllar said, “What happens when people do not go to the vaccination appointment? Firstly, the burden of our healthcare professionals increases. Secondly, we spend our resources. It causes an increase in cost. Thirdly, the storage conditions for some types of vaccines are extremely demanding. Even in a limited number, even if the reserve list is created, it can lead to waste of vaccines. Apart from this, we recommend that individuals who have the turn should get vaccination appointments as soon as possible in order to alleviate the burden of our healthcare professionals and to return to our good old days.”

Edited date: 17.05.2021
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