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Vaccination myths: Effectively debunking misinformation

Misinformation has always existed. However, especially nowadays – in the age of the internet and rapid information dissemination – it is difficult to contain incorrect information once they are out in the world. There is a multitude of misinformation circulating, particularly on the subject of vaccination. Individuals who are already sceptical about vaccination or are still undecided can be further unsettled by false information. Medical staff play an important role in engaging with concerned patients and addressing their questions about vaccinations.

The Robert Koch Institute has developed so-called “truth sandwiches” on some commonly occurring misinformation about vaccinations to support the medical fraternity concerning vaccinating patients.

truth sandwich: fact, myth, explanation, fact. Source: RKI

First of all, the fact is stated, then the misinformation is identified as such and subsequently explained where the misinformation comes from and why it is incorrect information. Finally, the fact is repeated (according to Lewandowski et al. 2020. The Debunking Handbook. DOI: 10.17910/b7.1182. Available here).

Truth sandwiches can be used during the patient consultation to clarify common misinformation about vaccination. The collection is continually being expanded.

A more comprehensive compilation and debunking of misinformation about vaccination can be found at the Jitsuvax project.

Preview of the truth sandwiches

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The protection offered by vaccines is good, but not 100%. Source: RKI

Fact: The protection offered by vaccines is good, but not 100%.

Myth: “Vaccines are pointless as they do not provide 100% protection.”

Date: 14.02.2024