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Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1642471


Purpose: While vaccines are an effective preventative measure to defend against the spread and harmful symptoms of COVID-19, information about COVID vaccines can be difficult to find and conflicting in its coverage of vaccines’ benefits and risks. This study aims to examine the extent to which Americans are searching for information about the three major vaccine producers (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen) in relation to the amount of reliable scholarly information that has been produced about each one. Design/methodology/approach: Data were retrieved from Google Trends for the US Web users alongside scientific research output of the US scientists toward three Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-authorized COVID-19 vaccines in Web of Science, Scopus and PubMed. The authors searched for descriptive statistical analyses to detect coronavirus-seeking behavior versus coronavirus releases in the USA from May 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021. Findings: Of the three COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer has attracted more attention from the US population. However, the greatest number of articles about COVID-19 vaccines published by the US scholars belonged to Moderna (M = 8.17), with Pfizer (M = 7.75) having slightly less, and Janssen (M = 0.83) well behind. A positive association was found between COVID-19 vaccine information-seeking behavior (ISB) on Google and the amount of research produced about that vaccine (P <0.001). Research limitations/implications: As the researchers use the single search engine, Google, to retrieve data from the USA, thus, selection bias will be existing as Google only gathers the data of people who chose to get the information by using this search engine. Practical implications: If the policymakers in the US Department of Health and Human Services or the US CDC desire to improve the country’s health ISB and the scientific publication behavior (SPB) of the US researchers regarding COVID-19 vaccines studies, they should reference the results of such a study. Originality/value: From an infodemiological viewpoint, these findings may support the health policymakers, as well as researchers who work on COVID-19 vaccines in the USA. © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.