Doctors in Nova Scotia are using social media to fight back against misleading anti-vaccine information online.

Kevin Chapman of Doctors Nova Scotia says vaccines against things like the flu save lives and prevent illness.  

But wrong information abounds online and some people fear vaccinations do harm, he said.

He’s heard many worries. "Things like getting vaccinated can cause significant side effects — you know, autism, sudden infant death syndrome. Other things like, ‘I'm healthy. Why do I need a vaccine? People get sick from the vaccine so I’m better off not getting it.’"

Doctors Nova Scotia is now campaigning online with evidence-based information. It has designed an infographic with core information about vaccines.

It points out that:

  • 33 per cent of all Canadian deaths were caused by infectious diseases in the 1900s.
  • Fewer than five per cent of Canadian deaths today are caused by infectious diseases.

Chapman said that is clear evidence that vaccines work.      

"It's been proven beyond a doubt that getting immunized is a big health promotion and disease prevention thing, so it's really about promoting immunization rates and immunization," he said.

About 33 per cent of Nova Scotians get the flu shot, which is roughly the national average.

Vaccine facts

Doctors Nova Scotia hopes the campaign will counter the mass of misinformation online. (Doctors Nova Scotia)