New York Times: Biden Administration Announces Ad Campaign to Combat Vaccine Hesitancy

New York Times: Biden Administration Announces Ad Campaign to Combat Vaccine Hesitancy. “The Biden administration on Thursday morning announced an ambitious advertising campaign intended to encourage as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The campaign, with ads in English and Spanish that will air throughout April on network TV and cable channels nationwide, as well as online, comes as the administration is rapidly expanding access to coronavirus vaccines.”

‘You can’t trust the government’: Spanish-speaking social media spreads COVID-19 vaccine disinformation, adds to hesitancy (USA Today)

USA Today: ‘You can’t trust the government’: Spanish-speaking social media spreads COVID-19 vaccine disinformation, adds to hesitancy. “It took Maria Teresa Kumar weeks to find out why her mom wouldn’t take a COVID-19 vaccine and to convince her it is safe. Kumar’s mother, a Colombian American woman who runs a small eldercare facility in Northern California, received a video on WhatsApp featuring a speaker who claimed to be a pharmacist. In Spanish, the speaker warned viewers not to get the shot because it was a ‘new technology never introduced into humans before.’”

The Manila Times: Tackling misinformation in closed social media spaces

The Manila Times: Tackling misinformation in closed social media spaces. “Big social media companies are starting to take action to curb falsehoods and conspiracy theories in public spaces. But most of the harmful misleading narratives about Covid-19 vaccinations are being shared in messaging platforms, groups or closed spaces. No wonder a December 2020 survey conducted by OCTA Research found that only 25 percent of Metro Manila respondents were willing to get an anti-Covid vaccination. Another survey conducted by Pulse Asia between November and December 2020 showed that only 32 percent of Filipinos wanted to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, and 47 percent did not want to get vaccinated at all because of safety concerns.”

CNN: White House shifts ad campaign strategy to reflect growing concern over conservatives’ vaccination reluctance

CNN: White House shifts ad campaign strategy to reflect growing concern over conservatives’ vaccination reluctance. “Reluctance among conservatives to get vaccinated against Covid-19 has caused growing concern inside the White House, according to people familiar with the matter, even as President Joe Biden’s administration rapidly scales up nationwide efforts to administer shots. The topic has been the subject of several high-level conversations between administration advisers and health experts, including at the presidential level, the officials said.”

CNN: Inside why all lawmakers still aren’t vaccinated after months of access to shots on the Hill

CNN: Inside why all lawmakers still aren’t vaccinated after months of access to shots on the Hill. “As the political fight over vaccinations continues around the country, CNN has learned that several members of Congress still have not been vaccinated despite having had access to the vaccine on Capitol Hill since December. Through a House-wide survey and interviews, CNN has contacted offices on Capitol Hill to try to get a clearer picture about where gaps in vaccinations still exist.”

CNN: US military says a third of troops opt out of being vaccinated, but the numbers suggest it’s more

CNN: US military says a third of troops opt out of being vaccinated, but the numbers suggest it’s more. “Despite a massive effort by the Pentagon to promote the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, the US military’s opt-out rate for vaccinations may be far higher than the 33% figure defense officials have used publicly. Conversations with military medical officials and service members, as well as data from several bases and units around the country, suggest the current rejection rate may be closer to 50%.”

ABC News: More than 800 Massachusetts State Police employees decline COVID-19 vaccine

ABC News: More than 800 Massachusetts State Police employees decline COVID-19 vaccine. “More than 800 Massachusetts State Police employees declined to receive the COVID-19 vaccine despite being in the first stage of priority for the doses, police sources said. A total of 845 members of the MSP, including sworn personnel and civilian officers, declined to receive the vaccine at state police clinics. That’s about 30% of the force’s sworn and civilian officers.”

Washington State University: Doctor communication key to pandemic vaccine adoption

Washington State University: Doctor communication key to pandemic vaccine adoption. “Researchers from Washington State University and University of Wisconsin-Madison surveyed patients about the vaccine for the H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2009. They found that doctor-patient communication helped build trust in physicians, which led to more positive attitudes toward the H1N1 vaccine–and it was more than just talk; it correlated to people actually getting vaccinated.”

Washington Post: ‘We want to be educated, not indoctrinated,’ say Trump voters wary of covid shots

Washington Post: ‘We want to be educated, not indoctrinated,’ say Trump voters wary of covid shots. “Be honest that scientists don’t have all the answers. Tout the number of people who got the vaccines in trials. And don’t show pro-vaccine ads with politicians — not even ones with Donald Trump. That’s what a focus group of vaccine-hesitant Trump voters insisted to politicians and pollsters this weekend, as public health leaders rush to win over the tens of millions of Republicans who say they don’t plan to get a coronavirus shot. If those voters follow through, it would imperil efforts to achieve the high levels of immunity needed to stop the virus’s spread in the United States, experts fear.”

Poynter: 6 things we’ve learned from a year of misinformation about the coronavirus

Poynter: 6 things we’ve learned from a year of misinformation about the coronavirus. “Since the novel coronavirus first emerged in late 2019, PolitiFact has fact-checked nearly 800 claims — 60% of which we rated False or Pants on Fire! In the early days of the pandemic, much of the misinformation focused on ways to cure or prevent COVID-19. Now, disinformation is casting doubt on the efficacy and safety of coronavirus vaccines. Here are a few things we’ve observed and learned while fact-checking coronavirus claims over the past year — and some lessons for how to avoid misinformation in what we hope is the twilight of the pandemic.”

New York Times: ‘At Your Age, It’s the Vaccine or the Grave’

New York Times: ‘At Your Age, It’s the Vaccine or the Grave’. “…much of the racial disparity in vaccination rates, experts say, can be tied to a longstanding mistrust of medical institutions among African-Americans. Many Baton Rouge residents can readily cite the history of abuse: starting with the eugenics campaigns that forcibly sterilized Black women for nearly half of the 20th century, and the notorious government-run Tuskegee experiments in Alabama that withheld penicillin from hundreds of Black men with syphilis, some of whom later died of the disease.”

Washington Post: Massive Facebook study on users’ doubt in vaccines finds a small group appears to play a big role in pushing the skepticism

Washington Post: Massive Facebook study on users’ doubt in vaccines finds a small group appears to play a big role in pushing the skepticism. “The company’s data scientists divided the company’s U.S. users, groups and pages into 638 population segments to explore which types of groups hold vaccine hesitant beliefs. The document did not identify how Facebook defined a segment or grouped communities, but noted that the segments could be at least 3 million people. Some of the early findings are notable: Just 10 out of the 638 population segments contained 50 percent of all vaccine hesitancy content on the platform. And in the population segment with the most vaccine hesitancy, just 111 users contributed half of all vaccine hesitant content.”