False information on COVID-19 boosts anti-vaccine movement

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More parents are questioning the need for routine immunization for infants. Adults also skip injections, even with vaccines that have a long record of safety.

This trend occurs in a wave of false and disinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines that helped stop pandemic deaths. The politicization of COVID-19 shots Vaccine opposition movementIt contributes to regular immunity reduction against measles, polio and other dangerous illnesses.

“They ask if they really need them, or if they can be given later,” said Jason Turk, a Texas pediatrician and spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatrics. ..

“This isn’t the majority of parents, but we’re seeing more.”

Antivaccination The movement has grown exponentially as messages on social media have been amplified by conservative politicians and influential foreign operations.

As regular immunity declines, there is growing concern about the recurrence of a disease that has been largely eradicated in many parts of the world.

In the United States, between 2020 and 21 the proportion of kindergarten children with recommended immunity dropped to 94%. School yearRepresents about 35,000 unvaccinated children.

“I call it parallel transmission,” Turk said. “This seems to be the initial hesitation in COVID-19 vaccination and the growing distrust of the vaccine and the body we have relied on to stay healthy and healthy.”

In some states, dramatic changes have been seen, especially during the pandemic. Researchers found that between 2019 and 2020, Texas’ immunity decreased by 47% at 5 months of age and 58% at 16 months of age.

Researchers in the scientific journal Vaccine said the decline was due not only to shelter-in-place restrictions and vaccination exemptions, but also to “aggressive anti-vaccine movements in Texas.”

Washington reported a 13% reduction in pediatric immunity compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, and Michigan’s infant vaccination rate dropped to 69.9% last year, the lowest in 10 years.

Adults too

According to Avalere, a health consulting firm that analyzes insurance company claims, vaccination rates for adults and adolescents with vaccines that protect against diseases such as influenza, hepatitis, measles, tetanus, and shingles are also declining.

Avalere found that this resulted in an estimated 37 million vaccination failures for adults and children over the age of 7 between January 2020 and July 2021.

The early decline of the pandemic may be due to shelter-in-place orders and social distance, but there is a “risk of bleedover” in the false information of the COVID vaccine. This affects other vaccines that have many years of safety records. Director Jason Hall.

Social media has helped build a coalition that includes true vaccine opponents, liberals, and conservative politicians. David Broniatowski, a professor at George Washington University and deputy director of the school’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Political Science, said these segments were amplified by sources from Russia and elsewhere. Stated.

“People have opposed vaccines as long as they exist, but they have become more sophisticated over the last decade, much of them due to their ability to organize. Social media Beyond the border, “said Bronia Tovsky, who is studying false information about vaccines.

He said anti-vaccine activists, libertarians and foreign agents were not necessarily coordinating, but “they found a common cause” in the opposition vaccine obligations.

“One of the major changes we’ve seen is a pivot away from focusing on the vaccine itself as a health issue for civil and citizenship. Political issues“He added.

According to a 2021 YouGov poll, conspiracy theories surged during the pandemic, with 28% of Americans and a significant number of other countries “intentionally hiding the truth about the harmful effects of vaccines. I have. “

Foreign actor

Foreign disinformation agents “use vaccines as a wedge problem that can mobilize part of the population,” Bronia Tovsky said.

2018 paper co-authored by Broniatowski American Journal of Public Health Twitter activity against vaccines was found to have been amplified by Russian trolls from 2014 to 2017 as part of efforts to foster discord and undermine confidence in the healthcare system.

A study by the European Center for Policy Analysis found that both China and Russia advertised false information about the COVID-19 vaccine. This shows that the Western government is incompetent and unreliable.

“Cooperative efforts have been made on the part of these parties to lower the status of science, because it serves their political objectives,” said Bronia Tovsky.

The problem is expanding worldwide. Last year, the United Nations reported that by 2020, 23 million children around the world had missed regular immunity. In the United States, the proportion of fully vaccinated children has dropped from 91% in 2016 to 82% due to factors such as lack of funding, incorrect vaccine information and instability. ..

It has the potential to create more health risks in the future from illnesses that have been mostly contained.

“There were certain protection standards to ensure that these diseases were not relevant from a public health perspective,” Terk said.

“The more people you push back, the more likely you are to have a pocket of vulnerability.”

Countering false information about COVID-19 shots for toddlers

© 2022 AFP

Quote: False information on COVID-19 strengthens vaccination campaign (July 4, 2022) July 4, 2022 Obtained from vaccine-movement.html

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False information on COVID-19 boosts anti-vaccine movement

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