Your Tweets Matter:

How Social Media Sentiments Associate with COVID-19 Vaccination Rates in the US

Authors

  • Gabriela Mustata Wilson The University of Texas at Arlington https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3090-9242
  • Ana Aleksandric The University of Texas at Arlington, Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics, Arlington, TX, USA; The University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Arlington, TX, USA
  • Mercy Jesuloluwa Obasanya The University of Texas at Arlington, Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics, Arlington, TX, USA
  • Sarah Melcher The University of Texas at Arlington, Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics, Arlington, TX, USA
  • Shirin Nilizadeh The University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Arlington, TX, USA

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v14i1.12419

Abstract

Objective: The aims of the study were to examine the association between social media sentiments surrounding COVID-19 vaccination and the effects on vaccination rates in the United States (US), as well as other contributing factors to the COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

Method: The dataset used in this study consists of vaccine-related English tweets collected in real-time from January 4 - May 11, 2021, posted within the US, as well as health literacy (HL), social vulnerability index (SVI), and vaccination rates at the state level.

Results: The findings presented in this study demonstrate a significant correlation between the sentiments of the tweets and the vaccination rate in the US. The results also suggest a significant negative association between HL and SVI and that the state demographics correlate with both HL and SVI.

Discussion: Social media activity provides insights into public opinion about vaccinations and helps determine the required public health interventions to increase the vaccination rate in the US.

Conclusion: Health literacy, social vulnerability index and monitoring of social media sentiments need to be considered in public health interventions as part of vaccination campaigns.

Keywords: COVID–19, Health Literacy, COVID–19 Vaccine Hesitancy, Social Vulnerability Index, Social Media, Social Determinants of Health

Abbreviations: Health Literacy (HL), Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), United States (US)

Correspondence: gabriela.wilson@uta.edu

Author Biographies

Gabriela Mustata Wilson, The University of Texas at Arlington

Co-Director of the Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics and Professor in the Department of Kinesiology.

Dr. Gabriela Wilson is an internationally recognized health informatics expert with a passion for harnessing the power of research and translate it into community action. For the past twenty years, she has educated and trained learners in various interprofessional settings, conducted research in industry and academia, and led partnerships across industry, academic institutions, and the community. Gabriela has demonstrated her active support to the Health Informatics community by serving in numerous leadership positions within the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). She is currently the HIMSS Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) International Initiative co-chair, a global initiative fostering community development and workforce development using an interprofessional approach. Gabriela is a Fellow Member of HIMSS bestowed in recognition of service, professional participation, job experience, publications, and presentations. She is also a Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), a distinction given to individuals who demonstrate a high degree of innovation through US patents that have brought real impact on the welfare of society. 

Ana Aleksandric, The University of Texas at Arlington, Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics, Arlington, TX, USA; The University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Arlington, TX, USA

Ana Aleksandric is a second-year PhD student in Security and Privacy at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is also going into her second year with a position of Graduate Research Assistant in Health Informatics at the Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics (MICHI). She received her undergraduate degree in Computer Science at Texas Wesleyan University in May 2020, which inspired her to pursue a PhD degree. It is her goal to use her discipline and knowledge to help others. Ana believes that technology and programming can be beneficial in many aspects related to improving the health and wellness of our communities.

Mercy Jesuloluwa Obasanya, The University of Texas at Arlington, Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics, Arlington, TX, USA

Mercy Obasanya is a public health professional and received her master’s degree in public health epidemiology at The University of Texas at Arlington. She is proficient in data analysis and entry using SAS university software. Mercy has great knowledge in public health, maternal and child health research, and social determinants of health research. She has experience in clinical trials and received the excellence in clinical setting award at UTA in fall 2018. She strives to gain research and data analysis skills to serve the community and advance the field of public health.

Sarah Melcher, The University of Texas at Arlington, Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics, Arlington, TX, USA

Sarah Melcher is entering her second year as a Graduate student towards a Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. This is Sarah’s first year with the Multi-Interprofessional Center for Health Informatics at The University of Texas at Arlington as a Graduate Research Assistant, and her topics of interest include access to healthcare and maternal and child health. 

Shirin Nilizadeh, The University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Arlington, TX, USA

Shirin Nilizadeh is Assistant Professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Texas at Arlington. She received her Ph.D. in Security Informatics from the Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). For her dissertation on Privacy-aware Decentralized Architectures for Socially Networked Systems, she received a two-year fellowship from the School of Informatics and Computing at IUB. Following her doctorate, she held post-doctoral positions in CNets at IUB from 2014-2015, in SecLab at University of California Santa Barbara from 2015-2017, and then in CyLab at Carnegie Mellon University from 2017-2018. Her research focuses on security and privacy in the context of systems and social networks using techniques from machine learning and big data analytics.

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Published

2022-08-11

How to Cite

Mustata Wilson, G., Aleksandric, A., Obasanya, M. J., Melcher, S., & Nilizadeh, S. (2022). Your Tweets Matter: : How Social Media Sentiments Associate with COVID-19 Vaccination Rates in the US. Online Journal of Public Health Informatics, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v14i1.12419