• VaccinesRussian Anti-Vaccine Disinformation Campaign Backfires

    By Jamie Dettmer

    For more than a year, Russian-aligned troll factories overseeing thousands of social media accounts have been spreading anti-vaccine messages in an aggressive campaign to spread conspiracy theories and cast doubt on Western coronavirus vaccines. But the year-long offensive appears to have backfired. Russian officials now worry that the anti-vaccine skepticism encouraged by the troll factories has spilled over and is partly responsible for the high level of vaccine hesitancy among Russians.

  • VaccinesNation of Islam Pushes Anti-COVID-19 Vaccine Message, Conspiracy Theories

    Months before the first COVID-19 vaccine began to be distributed in the United States, the Nation of Islam (NOI) had already widely disseminated its directive that Black people refuse the vaccine. Through all of this, the NOI has exploited legitimate concerns and distrust about the history of medical experimentation on marginalized communities in the United States in order to promote conspiratorial claims about a government-sponsored depopulation plot that targets Black people.

  • VaccinesLess than a Third of U.S. Parents Eager to Vaccinate Young Kids Against COVID-19

    By Stephanie Soucheray

    The latest poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only 27 percent of parents said they were eager to get their young children vaccinated against COVID-19. Thirty percent said they would definitely not get their child vaccinated, and 33 percent said they would take a wait-and-see approach.

  • VaccinesParents Were Fine with Sweeping School Vaccination Mandates Five Decades Ago – but COVID-19 May Be a Different Story

    By James Colgrove

    The ongoing battles over COVID-19 vaccination in the U.S. are likely to get more heated when the Food and Drug Administration authorizes emergency use of a vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, expected later this fall. As a public health historian who studies the evolution of vaccination policies, I see stark differences between the current debates over COVID-19 vaccination and the public response to previous mandates.

  • TerrorismTerrorist Attacks Against Vaccinators

    Since 2010, Islamist terrorists have increased their attacks on vaccinators in the Middle East, south Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. Pakistan has seen the most attacks on vaccinators.

  • VaccinesCOVID Vaccine Protection Waning Against Infection -- but Not Hospitalization

    By Mary Van Beusekom

    One study of 2-dose vaccination with Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines found significantly diminishing efficacy against infection in nursing home residents, while two other studies showed sustained protection against coronavirus-related hospitalizations but declining coverage against new adult cases.

  • VaccinesU.S. Early COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign Prevented Nearly 140,000 Deaths

    The early U.S. COVID-19 vaccination campaign prevented nearly 140,000 deaths and 3 million cases of COVID-19 by the second week of May, according to a new study. As a result of these early vaccination efforts, states experienced five fewer deaths from COVID-19 per 10,000 adult residents.

  • Public healthWhat the “Lyme Wars” Can Teach Us about COVID-19 and How to Find Common Ground in the School Reopening Debate

    By Abigail A. Dumes

    As schools reopen, concerns over a delta-driven surge in cases, vaccine ineligibility for children younger than 12 and varying opinions about mask use in school settings loom large.The Lyme controversy offers four lessons on how parents, school districts, elected officials and scientists can find common ground – and a path forward – in the 2021-2022 school year.

  • COVID-19Studies Look at COVID-19 Vaccines-Connected Clotting, Myocarditis

    By Lianna Matt McLernon

    Two studies published by JAMA Cardiology Tuesday discuss adverse effects associated with COVID-19 vaccines. Despite these risks, both research teams continue to advocate for COVID-19 vaccines as the health risks from the virus are far greater than those linked to the vaccine.

  • VaccinesWhy We Need to Talk Openly about Vaccine Side Effects

    How can health authorities and politicians help ensure public acceptance of vaccines which, their rare side effects aside, have proven effective in preventing serious Covid-19 disease? The best way to do this is to talk openly about all aspects of the vaccines, including potential negative aspects such as side effects.

  • SmallpoxFDA Approves Drug to Treat Smallpox

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week approved Tembexa (brincidofovir) to treat smallpox. Although the World Health Organization declared smallpox, a contagious and sometimes fatal infectious disease, eradicated in 1980, there have been longstanding concerns that the virus that causes smallpox, the variola virus, could be used as a bioweapon.

  • VaccinesEvaluation of Safety Studies Affirms That Vaccines Are Safe for Children and Adults

    A new study looking across a large body of research finds further evidence for the safety of vaccines that are Food and Drug Administration–approved and routinely recommended for children, adults, and pregnant women.“These findings support decisions to vaccinate to protect ourselves and our communities from a variety of diseases,” said one expert. “This research is an important reminder that vaccines are safe and any risk they may pose is far outweighed by their ability to protect against diseases.”

  • Truth decayJust 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes on Social Media

    Researchers have found that just twelve individuals are responsible for the bulk of the misleading claims and outright lies about COVID-19 vaccines that proliferate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Many of the messages about the COVID-19 vaccines being widely spread online echo the lies peddlers of health misinformation have been spreading in the past about other vaccines, for example, the vaccines against measles, mumps, and rubella.

  • Truth decayHow Truth Decay Is Fueling Vaccine Hesitancy

    By Jennifer Kavanagh

    A recent poll found that more than a quarter of Americans will not try to get vaccinated. Why are so many people opting out? Why are so many people opting out? The reasons vary, but some simply don’t trust the public health and government officials who are urging them to get the vaccine. The spread of misinformation and disinformation, which is rampant over social media, is one of the factors fueling vaccine hesitancy. And in turn, it’s threatening our ability to end the pandemic for good.

  • Vaccine hesitancyWorldwide Vaccine Hesitancy Poses Risk to Ending Pandemic

    By Steve Baragona

    The results of a new poll show that vaccine hesitancy worldwide poses a risk to ending the COVID-19 pandemic for good. In 79 out of 117 countries surveyed, the number of people who said they were willing to be vaccinated was below 70%, the minimum percentage of the population that scientists say needs to have immunity to stop the virus from circulating.