Covid-19: vaccination, mortality and vulnerability to fake news

The countries, which are more vulnerable to fake news and ‘post truth’, have generally lower vaccination rates and higher Covid-19 mortality rates. There is clearly a geographic pattern with Southeast and Central and Eastern European countries affected by higher Covid-19 mortality rates, lower vaccination rates, and at the same time lower media literacy scores compared to their counterparts to the West of the continent.

These are the findings of the comparison between the results of the Media Literacy Index 2021 on the one hand and on the other hand the full vaccination uptake (%) and mortality rate from Covid-19 in the 27 countries in the EU.

The graphs below show that there is generally – with a few exceptions – a correlation between the Media Literacy Index scores on the one hand and vaccination and Covid-19 death rates on the other hand.

Bulgaria ranks first in mortality rate among these 27 European countries, ranks last in vaccination rate, and is last among the EU countries in the Media Literacy Index.

The Media Literacy Index of OSIS measures the potential vulnerability of a society to fake news and the ‘post’ truth in 35 European countries with the results presented in scores from 0-100, lowest to highest score (more information here ).

The cumulative uptake (%) full vaccination is based on data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control ( ) as of 7 December 2021.

The mortality rate is based on own calculations and data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control ( ), presenting the number of deaths caused by Covid-19 per 20,000 people (i.e. country’s general population) as of 7 December 2021.