Risk and rumours in global health: The case of COVID-19 vaccination
More than most other health interventions, vaccines provoke anxiety, perceptions of risk and rumours. Vaccines are regulated— and sometimes mandated— by government, resisted by those who feel their personal freedoms are imposed on, as we have seen in numerous protests during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemics with all their uncertainties present a challenging context for a health intervention generally and vaccines specifically, despite their having decades of success in saving millions of lives and preventing disease and disability.
Professor Heidi Larson, PhD, is Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project at LSHTM. She is also author of STUCK: How Vaccine Rumors Start – and Why They Don’t Go Away (Oxford U Press, 2020)
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