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Articles on Anti-vaxxers

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A 1975 stamp printed in St. Vincent shows U.S. presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who were all vocally pro-inoculation and vaccination. (Shutterstock)

The U.S. Founding Fathers would want us to get the COVID-19 vaccine

In the early years of the United States, several American presidents were in favour of public health inoculation and vaccination strategies.
Francesca Passer, a registered pharmacist technician, carefully fills a syringe with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine at a vaccine clinic during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Dec. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Can COVID-19 vaccinations be mandated? Short answer: Yes

Employers could require their workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 via both workplace policies and existing laws. Neither option, however, is simple or straightforward.
Juan Miranda receives a flu shot from Yadira Santiago Banuelos, family nurse practitioner, at the Family Health Clinic of Monon in Monon, Indiana. Purdue University/Rebecca McElhoe

Latinos are especially reluctant to get flu shots – how a small clinic in Indiana found ways to overcome that

Millions of Latinos may not get the influenza shot this year, which could be an indicator of whether they will get a COVID-19 shot. A rural clinic shows how building trust can help overcome reluctance.
Ever since a 1904 revolt against the smallpox vaccine, Brazil has run extremely successful vaccination programs. Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Brazil’s president rejects COVID-19 vaccine, undermining a century of progress toward universal inoculation

A 1904 revolt against mandatory smallpox inoculation taught Brazilian health officials a deadly lesson on how to vaccinate a skeptical public. Today President Bolsonaro seems to ignore that history.
Teaching researchers and scientists communication skills — including social media proficiency — will help inform the public about new discoveries and research. (Shutterstock)

Scientists: Here’s how to fight back against anti-maskers, climate deniers and anti-vaxxers

Budget cuts and outsourcing content have affected the amount and quality of science journalism. Scientists should learn to communicate their own findings directly and clearly to the public.
A lab technician sorts blood samples inside a lab for a COVID-19 vaccine study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Fla., on Aug. 13, 2020. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Why scientists and public health officials need to address vaccine mistrust instead of dismissing it

People who oppose vaccines often are dismissed as ignorant or naive. Failing to hear their concerns and address them may only be fueling vaccine resistance, however.
An 1801 etching of a dandified physician taking a lancet to a ‘dindonnade,’ a word signifying both ‘turkey’ and ‘hoax.’ It ridicules the smallpox vaccine, which takes fluid from an animal to insert into a human. (Wellcome Collection)

COVID-19 anti-vaxxers use the same arguments from 135 years ago

The history of anti-vaccination theories can help us understand how such claims capture a popular following. The same misinformation used against 19th century smallpox vaccine is still in use today.

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