Coronavirus Crisis Update: Heidi Larson – Time to Reset our Thinking on Vaccines

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We gather to discuss with Dr. Heidi Larson about her new book, Stuck: How Vaccine Rumors Start – and Why they Don’t Go Away, a wake-up call and appeal to re-think what drives popular distrust in science and rising levels of vaccine refusal and hesitancy. As the world strives to develop safe and effective vaccines to arrest the Covid-19 pandemic, we should expect widespread resistance. How should our understanding of rumors, risks and uncertainty, digital wildfires, and group think figure in our thinking? Popular trust in vaccines and authority have national security implications, given the urgent, huge stake in getting control of the pandemic and restoring economies: what might that mean? What type of engagement is most needed and appropriate today, if we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past? 

Dr. Heidi Larson is Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science and Director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.