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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Antivaxxers Go Global

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread  And among those diseases could be COVID-19.

Rebecca Speare-Cole at The Evening Standard:
Nearly one in six Britons will refuse a coronavirus vaccine if and when one becomes available in the UK, according to a recent survey.
The findings come amid a significant rise in anti-vaccination sentiment on social media.
In a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of research group Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), only 6 per cent of people polled said they would definitely not get vaccinated.

A further 10 per cent also said they would “probably not”, meaning at least 16 per cent are not open to getting inoculated against Covid-19.
Loveday Morris and William Glucroft at WP:
Germany already had a fervent anti-vaxx movement, reflecting a historic skepticism of government control and an affinity for alternative medicine. [You-know-who was big on alternative medicine. -- ed.] Now, health experts have warned that even if a coronavirus vaccine gets approval, refusals could open the way to a resurgence while threatening efforts to keep other preventable diseases in check.

“With such a bad pandemic, there were people that said it would make anti-vaxxers wake up and see that vaccines are important,” said Heidi Larson, director of the London-based Vaccine Confidence Project. “But it’s actually done the opposite.”

Anti-vaxx groups have become highly “active and aggressive,” she said. “I think we are in a vulnerable spot right now.”

In Germany, conspiracy theories over a vaccine abound. Attila Hildmann, a vegan chef, has become one of the leading voices of the resistance, accusing the health minister of promoting a surveillance state and forced-vaccination program at the behest of Bill Gates.
Surveys of Germany conducted by the University of Erfurt found that in late June, 64 percent of respondents said they would be willing to get a hypothetical coronavirus vaccine — down from 79 percent in mid-April. The notion of mandatory vaccination was rejected by 38 percent of respondents.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
With some Victorians refusing COVID-19 testing, it has become more important than ever to counter online misinformation, which may be influencing communities in virus hot spots.
In one Facebook post spotted by Fact Check this week, a slick, shareable infographic posted by a newly-created Facebook page claims there is "no evidence" that COVID-19 tests used in Australia are accurate. The post, shared by Friends of Truth, also states they have not been safety tested and are "unapproved".
Anti-vaccine protesters took to the streets in Johannesburg on Wednesday to voice their concern over Africa’s first human trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine.
Last Wednesday, the University of the Witwatersrand in partnership with Oxford University rolled out South Africa’s first clinical trial, which will consist of 2,000 volunteers.
The involvement of South Africa in vaccine trials is intended to ensure the continent will have access to an affordable vaccine and not be left at the back of the queue.
About 50 people held protests at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, saying they did not want Africans to be used as guinea pigs, reflecting concerns among some on the continent over testing drugs on people who do not understand the risks.
At The Washington Post, Adam Taylor reports on the earlier measles outbreak in Samoa.