By Jaelyn Copeland, Intern and UAB Community Health and Human Services Student
Recently, the recording artist and global celebrity Nicki Minaj tweeted a series of statements expressing her reason for not attending the Met Gala, the star-studded fashion event postponed this year to September 13th due to COVID-19. In tweets following, the artist went on to explain, “I’m sure I’ll b vaccinated as well cuz I have to go on tour,” Minaj wrote in a tweet about missing Monday’s Met Gala in New York, implying that she had yet to be vaccinated, which the gala requires. “Once I believe I’ve done enough research,” she continued, she’ll get vaccinated.
Health educators encourage the general public to consider the facts regarding their health and well-being. Health educators also work to promote healthy decision making based on the valid science that is available. Understanding that there are many untrue myths regarding a wide array of topics on social media and in other spaces, health educators encourage of anyone wanting to do their own personal research concerning the vaccine (& other topics).
To obtain appropriate sources of information, the Wilkinson Wellness Lab recommends visiting health websites supported by Federal Government entities. By going to http://www.usa.gov, you can access all Federal websites. Large professional organizations and well-known medical schools can also be excellent providers of health knowledge.
Look for websites that end in:
- .gov – Identifies a U.S. government agency
- .edu - Identifies an educational institution, like a school, college, or university
- .org – Usually identifies nonprofit organizations (such as professional groups; scientific, medical, or research societies; advocacy groups)
- .com – Identifies commercial websites (such as businesses, pharmaceutical companies, and sometimes hospitals)
Also, take into account the authors and contributors of the website or social media information as well. If the author’s name appears within the posting, consider whether or not that individual is an authority in the topic. Is this person employed by a company, and if yes, what are the company’s objectives? Trustworthy websites will typically provide contact information (such as an email address, phone number, and/or mailing address), as well as an “About Us” or “Contact Us” page.
These tips and more are great ways to examine if a resource is “truthful” or not and support your health decision making in balance with one’s faith.
For accurate information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/library/researchguides/2019novelcoronavirus/websites.html
Sources and Further Reading:
Bryan Pietsch, A. S. (2021, September 14). Nicki Minaj Tweets Coronavirus vaccine conspiracy theory, spotlighting struggle against misinformation. The Washington Post. Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/09/14/nicki-minaj-covid-19-vaccine-conspiracy/.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). National institutes of health. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.nih.gov/.