Experts Must Work Together To Address Global Vaccine Dissent
Science: Reverse global vaccine dissent
Heidi J. Larson, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Population Health and director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and William S. Schulz, Ph.D. student in the Department of Politics at Princeton University and affiliated researcher at the Vaccine Confidence Project
“This year, the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 global health threats, alongside threats as grave as climate change, antimicrobial resistance, Ebola virus, and the next influenza pandemic. What happened? How did vaccine reluctance and refusal become such a major risk? The concerns driving antivaccine sentiment today are diverse. … The phenomenon of vaccine dissent is not new. … [T]his is not merely an issue of correcting misinformation. There are social networks in which vaccine views and information are circulating in online communities, where vaccine choices become part of one’s overall identity. To mitigate the globalization of vaccine dissent, while respecting legitimate sharing of concerns and genuine questions, a mix of relevant expertise is needed. Technology experts, social scientists, vaccine and public health experts, and ethicists must convene and take a hard look at the different roles each group has in addressing this challenge. It needs everyone’s attention” (4/12).