Searching for a vaccine against mistrust

All of the following happened during a three-week stretch in August:

A nurse at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston posted a comment on an anti-vaccine Facebook page about the city’s first measles case in five years. She said the young boy, whom she described as “super sick,” was the first case of measles she and others at the hospital had ever seen. But she said that despite the child’s “terrible” condition, she still had no regrets about opposing the use of vaccines. The nurse was subsequently fired. According to the hospital, it was because she had posted about a patient on social media.

The upper house of Italy’s parliament voted to suspend a requirement that children receive 10 vaccines before they enter preschool. The populist coalition now controlling the government supports the position that the decision to vaccinate should be left to a child’s parents.

A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that the propaganda efforts of Russian internet trolls and bots have included tweets weighing in on the subject of vaccine safety. While the bots focused on attracting clicks through provocative anti-vaccine comments, the approach of the trolls was more nuanced. According to the study, they disseminated both pro and con messages, with the goal of sowing discord and creating a false sense of equivalency.

Source: Searching for a vaccine against mistrust



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