An Ever-Evolving Variable

The thing to know about vaccine confidence: It’s highly volatile, and becoming more so, according to new Lancet study spanning 149 countries.
What contributes to the ebbs and flows?  
Vaccine hesitancy tends to run in tandem with religious extremism and political instability, Reuters reports. Vaccine scandals also contribute—in the Philippines and Japan, vaccine confidence has plummeted in the wake of safety scares.
Amid the race for a COVID-19 vaccine, empathy and clear communication are key to fostering vaccine confidence—but both are currently lacking, says lead author Heidi Larson, The Guardian reports.  
For example: It was standard practice to pause the AstraZeneca vaccine trial this week after a volunteer was hospitalized, but: “From the public’s perspective, no one is saying we’re sorry about the illness,” Larson says.
There’s also not enough explanation of why vaccine research is suddenly moving so fast.
“For the public who might have some anxiety, it can reinforce that.” 

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