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Deadly Anti-Vaxxers

The WHO lists ‘vaccine hesitancy’ among the 10 greatest threats to global health in 2019; unfounded fears are endangering health. Writing in Nature, Heidi Larson, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, predicted that the next pandemic would spread not for lack of preventative technologies, but rather because “emotional contagion, digitally enabled, could erode trust in vaccines so much as to render them moot.” According to Heidi, modern internet culture has played a significant role in stoking fear of vaccinations and, in a social media environment that is emotionally volatile, encourages snap judgement, and is mistrustful of elites and authority, misinformation spreads more easily.

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Dr Graham Hughes
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