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Monday, February 15, 2021

Pro-Vaccine Forces

 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.

Antivaxxers have been active on social media. Pro-vaccine people are pushing back.

Mohana Ravindranath at Politico:
One group, Shots Heard Round The World, has 900 vetted global volunteers — including many doctors — who it taps to post supportive messages when vaccine advocates’ posts are targeted, said co-founder Todd Wolynn. Health care workers can report anti-vaccine activity through a link on the group’s homepage, which is monitored at all hours.

The group, part of a nonprofit that’s helping Kaiser Permanente and other health systems encourage Covid-19 shots, has shared a detailed playbook for handling anti-vaccination activists that it’s developed after years of promoting vaccines for HPV, flu and diseases. Among their top guidelines for someone facing an online attack: Don’t engage with the trolls.

The core group of doctors who thought up the #ThisIsOurShot campaign has maintained a 100-member Slack channel and weekly Zoom calls where they share intel about posts targeted by anti-vaccine forces. The group, which began as a grassroots social media campaign among members of the California Medical Association, has hired a full-time staffer to raise awareness.

A release from the AMA:

Together, the American Hospital Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA), and American Nurses Association (ANA) released a public service announcement today urging the American public to get the COVID-19 vaccination when it is their turn. The PSA stresses that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and help us all as we work together to defeat COVID-19. Today’s effort continues the work the three associations have done over the past year to increase public acceptance of the essential actions to curb the spread of COVID-19, which also include: wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and washing hands frequently. The organizations have released several previous PSAs encouraging the public to adhere to these critical public health measures, which will be increasingly important as more communicable COVID-19 variants appear and spread in the U.S.