Show and tell: Uniting students to combat health misinformation on social media

Headshot of Jordan Tralins

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Who I am: Jordan Tralins, Pathways Medical Student at Harvard Medical School

What I created:  The COVID Campus Coalition

Why it matters:The COVID Campus Coalition is a grassroots organization that was created in 2021 to combat COVID-19 misinformation by transforming findings from peer reviewed studies into engaging TikTok videos and Instagram infographics. Our team expanded to over forty-five universities and partnered with the White House to reach young vaccine hesitant populations. The Coalition also hosted the “COVID Vax Chat” with US Surgeon General Murthy to unite student leaders in a critical discussion surrounding COVID vaccines. Overall, this work made public health more accessible by disseminating factual information in a way that resonated with young adults.

What I learned: Creativity and social media can be harnessed to communicate data-driven medical recommendations. As communication becomes increasingly intertwined within social media, it is essential to disseminate public health recommendations on platforms where target populations are present. Our Coalition is now expanding to broadly encompass medical communication as the Medical Communication Coalition! This coalition will consist of a network of college students who volunteer to create TikTok and social media content for national public health organizations that target adolescent/young adult health topics each month. We are actively recruiting student ambassadors, so please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to get involved.