19/05/2022 (Thursday) 12:45-13:45 E21B-G002

Tracking the Influence of Anti-vaccines Misinformation on the Elderly Population in Hong Kong

Exposure to anti-vaccination misinformation in the media has been cited as one primary factor that leads people to develop misperceptions regarding vaccines and resulting in resistance against vaccination (Motta et al., 2018). Nevertheless, elderly people also receive health-related information from friends or family members—who are in similar, if not greater, risks of receiving health-related misinformation from the media. The family or friends may relay the misinformation to elderly people without realizing it. This talk discusses this two-step flow (Katz & Lazarsfeld, 1955) in which health misinformation influences elderly people’s views through interpersonal communication. A dual-path model is proposed to track how misinformation spreads and impacts elderly people’s intention to accept vaccines. How family and friend communication facilitates the spread of misinformation in the media is discussed.


Prof. Chih-Yun Stella CHIA, is currently Associate Professor, Department of Media and Communication, City University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses primarily on media effects, journalism and public opinion, adolescent health behavior, and impacts of new media technologies. She has published recent articles in such outlets as ‘Health Communication’, ‘Journal of Information Technology and Politics’, ‘International Journal of Public Opinion Research’, and ‘Information, Communication, and Society.’ Her recent research projects include “Tracking the Influence of Misinformation on Perceptions about Flu Vaccine among the Elderly Population in Hong Kong”.