• CybersecurityHackers “Manipulated” Stolen COVID Vaccine Papers, Says EU Agency

    Documents and emails about the BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna jabs were taken in a cyberattack late last year. The EU’s drug regulator thinks hackers are trying to damage public trust in the COVID vaccines.

  • VaccinesAs the Vaccines Arrive, So Do the Questions

    By Robin Rauzi

    As the first COVID-19 vaccines are being administered across the United States—developed, tested, and approved with historic speed—countless questions have arisen about what comes next. Is one vaccine better than another? Can the United States both speed up inoculation and overcome some people’s hesitance to get the shot?

  • Truth decayCOVID-19 Experts: Americans Must be Vigilant Against Anti-Vax Rumors in “Fractured Media Universe”

    As the world watches how U.K. residents respond to COVID-19 vaccinations, three leading experts on the virus are urging Americans and the U.S. government to be vigilant against anti-vaccination advocates and their “rumors, misinformation, and conspiracy theories in a fractured media universe.”

  • VaccinesPfizer’s Ultra-Cold Vaccine Could Be Difficult to Distribute

    By Michael Head

    The excitement that greeted the news of a vaccine candidate that may be highly effective against COVID-19 was indeed something to behold. One complicating factor will be the maintenance of the cold chain. Vaccines are fragile products: they need to be stored at specific temperatures, and some are sensitive to light and need to be transported in dark glass vials. These precise conditions must be maintained throughout the vaccine journey, right until the point when you’re in the GP surgery with your sleeve rolled up and the nurse opens the fridge door to extract the required immunization.

  • VaccinesPfizer, Biontech Announce COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Achieved Phase 3 Success

    Vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis. The study enrolled 43,538 participants, with 42 percent having diverse backgrounds, and no serious safety concerns have been observed; Safety and additional efficacy data continue to be collected. Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE will apply for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the required safety milestone is achieved, which is currently expected to occur in the third week of November. Clinical trial to continue through to final analysis at 164 confirmed cases in order to collect further data and characterize the vaccine candidate’s performance against other study endpoints.

  • The Russia connectionRussia Launches Disinformation Campaign to Undermine Public Confidence in Oxford University’s COVID Vaccine

    The U.K. government said it condemned as “utterly deplorable” a Russia disinformation campaign to undermine public confidence in a coronavirus vaccine currently under development by Oxford University scientists. The Times reported on Friday that Russian government officials have been using social media and Russian state media to depict the vaccine as dangerous – going as far as claiming that the vaccine would turn people into monkeys or chimpanzees.

  • Vaccine conspiraciesCOVID-19 Anti-Vaxxers Use the Same Arguments from 135 Years Ago

    By Paula Larsson

    As we get closer to an effective vaccine for COVID-19, we should expect to see a renewed push of disinformation and vocal resistance from the anti-vaccination movement. Over the past year, seemingly endless conspiracy theories and misinformation campaigns have gained traction online amidst rising COVID-19 infection rates worldwide. Looking at the history of these movements can help us understand why they can be so effective at capturing a popular following.

  • Vaccine hesitancyA History of the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    Vaccines are a documented success story, one of the most successful public health interventions in history. Yet there is a vocal anti-vaccination movement, featuring celebrity activists and the propagation of anti-vax claims through books, documentaries, and social media. A new book explores the phenomenon of the anti-vaccination movement, recounting its history from its nineteenth-century antecedents to today’s activism, examining its claims, and suggesting a strategy for countering them.

  • Vaccine hesitancyAmericans Increasingly Skeptical of COVID Vaccine: Poll

    By Chris Dall

    A new survey reveals that Americans are becoming increasingly wary about getting the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available. Last April, a Pew Research survey of 10,000 Americans found that 72 percent said they would get a COVID-19 vaccine when it became available. Hen the same 10,000 respondents were polled between 8 and 13 September, only 51 percent said they would definitely or probably get a COVID-19 vaccine if it were available today.

  • Conspiracy theoryBelief in Conspiracy Theories A Barrier to Controlling Spread of COVID-19

    Belief in conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic is not only persistent but also is associated with reluctance to accept a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available and to engage in behaviors such as mask-wearing that can prevent its spread, according to research.

  • VaccinesMisinformed Vaccine Beliefs Affect Policy Views

    While there is broad support in the United States for pro-vaccination policies, as many as 20% of Americans hold negative views about vaccination. Such misinformed vaccine beliefs are by far the strongest driver of opposition to pro-vaccination public policies—more than political partisanship, education, religiosity or other sociodemographic factors, according to new research.

  • VaccinesDefiance of, Low Trust in Medical Doctors Related to Vaccine Skepticism

    People who tend to react negatively to rules and recommendations have lower trust in medical doctors and a more negative attitude towards vaccines, or reject vaccines for themselves or their children. These same people also more often use complementary and alternative medicine, that is, treatments or substances that are not included in the care offered or recommended by doctors.

  • Regulating hate speechFrench High Court: Most of New Hate Speech Bill Would Undermine Free Expression

    In what free-speech advocates hail as aa victory for the free speech rights of French citizens, France’s highest court last week struck down core provisions of a bill meant to curb hate speech, holding they would unconstitutionally sweep up legal speech.

  • Flu vaccineUniversal Flu Vaccine May Be More Challenging than Expected

    Some common strains of influenza have the potential to mutate to evade broad-acting antibodies that could be elicited by a universal flu vaccine, according to a study led by scientists at Scripps Research. The findings highlight the challenges involved in designing such a vaccine, and should be useful in guiding its development.

  • VaccinesVaccine Access and Hesitancy: The Public Health Importance of Vaccines

    By Stephanie Miceli

    While health experts say a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection is needed to return to “normal,” several polls have indicated some Americans would be reluctant to receive a vaccine, citing safety concerns. The spread of disinformation on social media has only further complicated matters.