In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing disease to spread. Trump has helped spread misinformation.
[We] need to effectively message and build the public's confidence in vaccine. Overcoming vaccine hesitancy is no small task in the current political and cultural climate. Honing a message across media that imparts to the public a trust in the process will help determine vaccination rates. We in the scientific community need to roll up our sleeves and show that fresh-to-market vaccines are safe, effective, and necessary. Popular public figures and trusted institutions need to promote vaccinations to accelerate us across the herd immunity threshold. In parallel, we must recognize the pervasive aspects of anti-vaccine messaging across the internet, including social media and e-commerce platforms. Anti-vaccination rumors, misinformation, and conspiracy theories swirl in a fractured media universe; their origins are diverse and include dedicated anti-vaccine organizations, political extremist groups, and even the Russian Government [5,6]
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Weaponized health communication: Twitter bots and russian trolls amplify the vaccine debate.Am J Publ Health. 2018; 108: 1378-1384