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Journal Information
Vol. 31. Issue 3.
Pages 199-200 (May - June 2021)
Vol. 31. Issue 3.
Pages 199-200 (May - June 2021)
Letter to the Editor
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SARS-CoV-2 and the myths about vaccination
SARS-CoV-2 y los mitos sobre la vacunación
Aaron Travezaño-Cabreraa,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Nyra Cabrera-Lliuyacb, Jesus Travezaño-Cabrerac
a Departamento de Psicología, Universidad Peruana Unión, Lima, Peru
b Servicio de inmunización, Centro de Salud Chosica, Lima, Peru
c Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Privada San Juan Bautista, Lima, Peru
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Dear Editor,

From the start of the current pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus on 31 December 2019 until 12 February 2021, 107,935,117 cases have been reported and 2,372,399 people have died worldwide.1

Due to this serious disease scenario, vaccines are under development around the world against SARS-CoV-2, with the aim of mitigating its propagation in the global population. There are currently 63 candidate vaccines, of which the majority are still in the clinical trial stage.2 Four of these vaccines have already been approved for use in humans, and they have been approved in a growing number of countries which have given the green light for their purchase and use for rapid immunisation.

Nevertheless, an existing problem has resurged during the process of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2: vaccination reticence.

Reticence towards vaccination is defined as hesitancy or a refusal to be vaccinated, in spite of the availability of a vaccine. The World Health Organisation (WHO) considers this to be one of the 10 main threats against world health.3

In connection with this, a recent study in 19 countries questioned 13,426 people about their acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines. The overall results showed that 25.9% of participants said they were “somewhat in disagreement” or “totally disagreed” with vaccination. There were major differences between countries, with data showing almost 90% of acceptation in countries like China, to less than 50% acceptance in other countries such as Russia.4 These figures are disheartening, as they show there is a moderate level of rejection of vaccination. On the other hand, the factors on which this reticence is based include distrust of vaccination due to myths or “conspiranoid” beliefs about it.3

An example is a study undertaken in Arab countries, which showed that 27.7% of respondents thought that vaccination was a means of implanting chips to control individuals, while 23.4% answered that vaccines subsequently cause infertility.5

These canards about vaccines have increased as they are easily spread by social networks, as well as by the distance of individuals from official sources of information. On the other hand, the results of these myths will affect the process of worldwide immunisation, with a negative impact that may have consequences at an individual level (people who do not develop antibodies against the virus before there is a new outbreak of SARS-CoV-2) or even collectively, preventing the necessary immunity at community level.

Given this panorama, one possible solution would be to demand greater rigor in the digital media, restricting the access and spread of misleading content. Another solution would be information campaigns in different media such as radio and television, as well as the social networks. These are key tools for the publication of messages based on scientific evidence that can be verified, messages that are clear, exact and comprehensible for the population, with the aim of increasing trust in vaccination.

Campaigns of this type should also be implemented in health centres, where nurses play a key role in the health education of the population. They should undertake this educational role for vaccines too, as they have the opportunity to offer advice which resolves doubts and questions, discrediting the rumours and myths about vaccination which give rise to unfounded worries and questions about it.

Conflict of interests

The authors have no conflict of interests to declare.

Coronavirus Resource Center.
COVID-19 Data in Motion 2021.
World Health Organization.
Draft landscape of COVID-19 candidate vaccines 2021.
World Health Organization.
Ten threats to global health in 2019. Vaccine Hesitancy 2019.
J.V. Lazarus, S.C. Ratzan, A. Palayew, L.O. Gostin, H.J. Larson, K. Rabin, et al.
A global survey of potential acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Nat Med, 27 (2020), pp. 225-228
M. Sallam, D. Dababseh, H. Eid, K. Al-Mahzoum, A. Al-Haidar, D. Taim, et al.
High rates of covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and its association with conspiracy beliefs: a study in Jordan and Kuwait among other Arab countries.
Vaccines, 9 (2021), pp. 1-16

Please cite this article as: Travezaño-Cabrera A, Cabrera-Lliuyac N, Travezaño-Cabrera J. SARS-CoV-2 y los mitos sobre la vacunación. Enferm Clin. 2021;31:199–200.

Copyright © 2021. Elsevier España, S.L.U.. All rights reserved
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