COVID-19 Series: What is the scale of vaccine scepticism? – Episode 56
Webinar: Date and time: Thu 7 Jan 2021 from 12:30pm to 1:15pm
Register to join Episode 56 ‘What is the scale of vaccine scepticism?’ on Zoom here.
Following the rapid development of vaccines for COVID-19, successful vaccine delivery will be the most important factor in bringing this pandemic to an end.
In this episode, we will look at the scale of the hesitancy that surrounds COVID vaccines, and the impact that could have on delivery.
Our guest will be Professor Heidi Larson, Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who will be interviewed by Professor Sir Simon Wessely.
Heidi J. Larson, PhD, is Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and is the Founding Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is also Clinical Professor of Health Metrics Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA, and Guest Professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium.
Dr. Larson previously headed Global Immunisation Communication at UNICEF, chaired GAVI’s Advocacy Task Force, and served on the WHO SAGE Working Group on vaccine hesitancy. The VCP is a WHO Centre of Excellence on addressing Vaccine Hesitancy.
Professor Larson’s research focuses on the analysis of social and political factors that can affect uptake of health interventions and influence policies. Her particular interest is on risk and rumour management from clinical trials to delivery – and building public trust. She served on the FDA Medical Countermeasure (MCM) Emergency Communication Expert Working Group, and is currently Principal Investigator for a global study on acceptance of vaccination during pregnancy; an EU-funded (EBODAC) project on the deployment, acceptance and compliance of an Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone; and a global study on Public Sentiments and Emotions Around Current and Potential Measures to Contain and Treat COVID-19.
She is author of STUCK: How Vaccine Rumors Start – and Why They Don’t Go Away (Oxford U Press, 2020)
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None of the experimental vaccines currently available prevent either infection or transmission and are an order of magnitude less effective in protecting individuals from developing covid-19 than the natural immune system. This is not about vaccine ‘scepticism’ this is about science and vaccine safety.
There will be no accurate answer to this question until science-medicine accepts that questioning any medical procedure and vaccines in particular, is not simply normal, but wise. The use of the word, ‘scepticism,’ suggests that questioning vaccines is not normal, when in fact it is very normal and what is abnormal is that so few, including medical professionals, have questioned this medical procedure. Neither will there be any understanding until science-medicine takes the time to talk to people who question vaccines. It would not be difficult given that studies show the questioners fall into the most highly educated segments of… Read more »
In terms of the book written by Professor Larson: Quote: Stuck examines how the issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy are, more than anything, about people feeling left out of the conversation. A new dialogue is long overdue, one that addresses the many types of vaccine hesitancy and the social factors that perpetuate them. To do this, Stuck provides a clear-eyed examination of the social vectors that transmit vaccine rumors, their manifestations around the globe, and how these individual threads are all connected. End quote. The tone of this suggests that people who are hesitant about vaccines, just need a nudge, to get them into… Read more »
I would like to add that my reservations concerning the efficacy and safety of the experimental vaccines have been detailed very recently by Peter Doshi, please see; https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/04/peter-doshi-pfizer-and-modernas-95-effective-vaccines-we-need-more-details-and-the-raw-data/