Vaccination proponents and misinformation researchers had been waiting for years for Facebook to take action against the biggest and most influential anti-vaccination pages, NBC News reports.
So it was with some trepidation that they welcomed the news that the social network last week had banned some of the most popular and prolific anti-vaccination accounts — pages that had also pushed COVID-19 vaccination misinformation to millions of people.
Their impact, however, lives on. While researchers of extremism and public health advocates see the removal of the largest anti-vaccination accounts as mostly positive, new research shows the bigger threat to public trust in a COVID-19 vaccine comes from smaller, better-connected Facebook groups that gravitated to anti-vaccination messaging in recent months.
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With many COVID-19 vaccines in the works, health officials have warned that public adoption will be crucial to ensure that enough of the population is immunized to stop the spread of the virus. Experts say there isn't an exact threshold for the percentage of people that need to get vaccinated to stop the virus' spread, but it is expected to be at least 60 percent of the population.