ChatGPT: A helpful tool in boosting COVID-19 vaccine uptake

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Researchers believe that ChatGPT, a conversational artificial intelligence (AI), could help get more people vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a study published in the journal Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, experts from the GenPoB research group and Hospital Clinico Universitario of Santiago de Compostela tested the chatbot’s ability to give accurate answers to the public’s top 50 questions about the vaccine.

Some questions were based on myths and fake stories, like the idea that the vaccine causes long COVID. The study found that ChatGPT scored 9 out of 10 for accuracy on average.

While the AI gave correct answers, it sometimes left out some details. Antonio Salas, the lead author, said ChatGPT generally provided information backed by science and could therefore help increase vaccine uptake.

The Issue of Vaccine Hesitancy

Hesitancy to get vaccinated has been a significant hurdle in combating the pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) listed vaccine hesitancy among the top 10 threats to global health as far back as 2019.

The Hospital Clinico Universitario de Santiago, recognized by the WHO as a vaccine safety collaborating center, has been looking into why people are wary of vaccines.

Often, social media misinformation has played a role in making people skeptical about getting their shots.

The researchers wanted to see if ChatGPT could offer reliable information about COVID vaccine safety that lines up with current scientific proof.

Since ChatGPT talks like a human and is easy to use, it could reach a broad audience, they thought.

Strengths and Concerns about Using ChatGPT

The study posed different types of questions to the AI, from common myths to real medical reasons for not getting the vaccine.

The answers were then compared to current scientific data and guidelines from WHO. Most of the time, ChatGPT’s answers were on point.

However, the researchers did voice some concerns. For example, ChatGPT sometimes gave different answers if the same question was asked a few seconds apart.

There’s also a risk that someone could manipulate the system to get the answer they want, even if it’s not based on facts.

Professor Salas concluded that while the tool has potential, it’s not a replacement for expert advice.

But, it can serve as a reliable source of information for the general public, helping to clear up myths and encourage more people to get vaccinated.

If you care about long COVID, please read studies about the long mystery of long COVID: it’s not inflammation! and Long COVID: The uninvited guest that tires the brain and worsens moods.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about COVID infection and vaccination linked to heart disease, and results showing extracts from two wild plants can inhibit COVID-19 virus.

The research findings can be found in Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.

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