Date of Award

Fall 12-1-2022

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

School

Communication

Committee Chair

Dr. Jae-Hwa Shin

Committee Chair School

Communication

Committee Member 2

Dr. Fei Xue

Committee Member 2 School

Communication

Committee Member 3

Dr. Kathryn Anthony

Committee Member 3 School

Communication

Abstract

Government health agencies utilize social media for public health interventions. This study examines how CDC, the national public health agency of the United States, use Facebook to disseminate COVID-19 vaccine messages and to get public engagement towards them over the past two years (2020-2022). Investigating the process of dialogic potentials of Facebook from the dialogic theory of public relations perspective, the current study analyzes 681 posts and 3,405 comments from CDC’s official Facebook page. Thematic analysis of posts yields three dominant themes such as “Vaccine supportive”, “availability of vaccine”, and “up to date information”. Comment analysis shows positive sentiment to vaccine promotion but negative sentiment for pregnant women’s vaccine uptake. Parents of children lack of confidence to get them vaccinated. Drawing on dialogic theory, the study argues, CDC needs to escalate “usefulness of information” (e.g., audio-visual production) principle while crafting messages for vaccination. The study concludes by calling for building an active “dialogic loop” by responding to users’ comments as much as possible. Practical implications and importance of findings are discussed.

ORCID ID

0000-0002-6547-6830

Available for download on Thursday, January 31, 2030

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