COVID-19 Vaccines Disinformation and Conspiracy Theories: An Infodemic on Social Networks and Media in Croatia


  • Kristina Feldvari Filozofski fakultet Osijek
  • Milijana Mićunović
  • Marija Blagović


COVID-19, vaccination, misinformation, conspiracy theories, social networks, media


Misinformation, conspiracy theories, and negative comments on social networks affect the availability of accurate health information and attitudes toward vaccination. The aim of this paper is to explore the opinions and attitudes of the public, i.e. misinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccination and the vaccine against the disease caused by the COVID-19 virus on Internet portals and the social network Facebook. From November 9, 2020 to January 30, 2021, a total of 4,576 comments were analyzed, i.e. 113 posts in the topic of vaccination and vaccines categorized according to sentiment (positive, neutral, irrelevant, and negative). Among the negative comments (20,60 %), 13 main thematic categories were identified. The most represented were in the category of conspiracy theories (35,84 %) and the category of expression of distrust in the composition, effectiveness, safety, and side effects of vaccines (19,93 %), while the percentage of misinformation was 20,90 %. The results highlight the necessity of designing a timely plan and strategy of health campaigns and content for online educational materials and platforms, as well as the initiation of nationwide health education programs.