The Role of Media Literacy in Mitigating COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Conspiracy Theories
El Bour, Hamida
Salim, Sahar Khalifa
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This study examines the relationship between media literacy, belief in conspiracy theories, and vaccine hesitation through a survey of 3,009 university students in 8 Arab countries. The findings provide evidence that believing in COVID-19 vaccine conspiracy theories and being opposed to all vaccines has a negative effect on the intention to get vaccinated, while perceptions of the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and the perception that the COVID-19 disease is more dangerous than the vaccine, as well as media literacy level and trust in media and information sources about COVID-19 have a positive effect on vaccination intention. In addition to theorizing about the role of media literacy in pandemics, the study offers an effective measure for media literacy that can be deployed quickly in pandemic situations.