Table_1_How the Italian Twitter Conversation on Vaccines Changed During the First Phase of the Pandemic: A Mixed-Method Analysis.DOCX (14.97 kB)
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Table_1_How the Italian Twitter Conversation on Vaccines Changed During the First Phase of the Pandemic: A Mixed-Method Analysis.DOCX

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posted on 18.05.2022, 04:24 authored by Francesco Gesualdo, Lorenza Parisi, Ileana Croci, Francesca Comunello, Andrea Parente, Luisa Russo, Ilaria Campagna, Barbara Lanfranchi, Maria Cristina Rota, Antonietta Filia, Alberto Eugenio Tozzi, Caterina Rizzo

In the context of the European Joint Action on Vaccination, we analyzed, through quantitative and qualitative methods, a random sample of vaccine-related tweets published in Italy between November 2019 and June 2020, with the aim of understanding how the Twitter conversation on vaccines changed during the first phase of the pandemic, compared to the pre-pandemic months. Tweets were analyzed by a multidisciplinary team in terms of kind of vaccine, vaccine stance, tone of voice, population target, mentioned source of information. Multiple correspondence analysis was used to identify variables associated with vaccine stance. We analyzed 2,473 tweets. 58.2% mentioned the COVID-19 vaccine. Most had a discouraging stance (38.1%), followed by promotional (32.5%), neutral (22%) and ambiguous (2.5%). The discouraging stance was the most represented before the pandemic (69.6%). In February and March 2020, discouraging tweets decreased intensely and promotional and neutral tweets dominated the conversation. Between April and June 2020, promotional tweets remained more represented (36.5%), followed by discouraging (30%) and neutral (24.3%). The tweets' tone of voice was mainly polemical/complaining, both for promotional and for discouraging tweets. The multiple correspondence analysis identified a definite profile for discouraging and neutral tweets, compared to promotional and ambiguous tweets. In conclusion, the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 caused a deep change in the vaccination discourse on Twitter in Italy, with an increase of promotional and ambiguous tweets. Systematic monitoring of Twitter and other social media, ideally combined with traditional surveys, would enable us to better understand Italian vaccine hesitancy and plan tailored, data-based communication strategies.

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