COVID-19, fake news, and vaccines: Should regulation be implemented?

Julio Emilio Marco-Franco, Pedro P. Barros, David Vivas-Orts, Silvia González-De-Julián, David Vivas-Consuelo

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We analysed issues concerning the establishment of compulsory vaccination against COVID-19, as well as the role of misinformation as a disincentive-especially when published by health professionals-and citizen acceptance of measures in this regard. Data from different surveys revealed a high degree of hesitation rather than outright opposition to vaccines. The most frequent complaint related to the COVID-19 vaccination was the fear of side effects. Within the Spanish and European legislative framework, both compulsory vaccination and government regulation of FN (Fake News) appear to be feasible options, counting on sufficient legal support, which could be reinforced by additional amendment. However, following current trends of good governance, policymakers must have public legitimation. Rather than compulsory COVID-19 vaccination, an approach based on education and truthful information, persuading the population of the benefits of a vaccine on a voluntary basis, is recommended. Disagreements between health professionals are positive, but they should be resolved following good practice and the procedures of the code of ethics. Furthermore, citizens do not support the involvement of government authorities in the direct control of news. Collaboration with the media and other organizations should be used instead.

Original languageEnglish
Article number744
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Fake news
  • Governmental regulations
  • Medical code of ethics
  • Vaccination


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