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  • A vaccine is the world's best hope of overcoming the covid-19 pandemic

  • More than 20 vaccines are in development, globally...

  • ...but as scientists move closer to success...

  • Possible breakthrough in the development...

  • ...of a coronavirus vaccine

  • ...there's a problem

  • Freedom

  • A growing number of people say they won't take a vaccine

  • I don't want to inject anything like this into my body

  • This is linked to declining trust in scientific experts and political leaders...

  • Hypocrite

  • ...problems brought into even sharper focus by the pandemic...

  • I call it covid bollocks

  • ...and fuelled by a spiralling infodemic

  • Take off your mask

  • Anybody who has trusted the president has been lied to...

  • ...and many people like my dad have paid with their life

  • This crisis of trust could have catastrophic consequences

  • So, what can be done to rebuild trust in vaccines...

  • ...and to protect the world from future disasters?

  • All vaccine advocates need to be more tech savvy

  • We have science and evidence and right and fact on our side

  • This is the front line in the race to find a covid-19 vaccine

  • Professor Jonathan Heeney is one of those leading the charge

  • It has very much been a race against time...

  • ...and sometimes I wish time could stand still

  • The professor has been developing vaccines for over 25 years

  • Now we have representatives of those viruses...

  • ...that are closely related to SARS-1 or SARS-2

  • But finding one to fight a virus...

  • ...which has brought the world to its knees, feels different

  • I do know people who've had covid and it's a terrible, terrible death

  • It is an agonising disease

  • This project in Cambridge is about to begin clinical human trials...

  • ...and the stakes could not be higher

  • If we don't have a vaccine, we will be stuck in this lifestyle of isolation...

  • ...social distancing, masks for a long, long time

  • For a vaccine to immunise populations effectively against covid-19...

  • ...around 70% of people need to be willing to take it

  • Trust is absolutely critical

  • If only part of the population is onboard...

  • ...we're never going to bring this virus to its knees...

  • ...and control this epidemic

  • Choose your side, choose your side

  • But, in the rich world especially...

  • ...polls suggest that persuading people to take vaccines...

  • ...may be as difficult as producing them in the first place

  • Are you gonna take it?

  • No

  • Are you gonna let your kids have it?

  • No

  • What are they?

  • Liars

  • Many of these protesters belong to a growing minority...

  • ...who believe a covid-19 vaccine...

  • ...would actually be harmful to their health

  • Do I worry about vaccinations, this one in particular?

  • Yes, definitely

  • It's been rushed and imposed on us...

  • ...and I know I want to have my choice...

  • ...and I don't want to inject anything like this into my body...

  • ...and into my children's body

  • Some here see a vaccine as part of a wider government conspiracy...

  • ...to exaggerate the dangers of covid-19

  • We do not consent

  • Many of these people have lost trust in their government

  • Take off your masks

  • I call it covid bollocks, what do you call it?

  • Covid bollocks

  • We want the truth

  • And we will not give up until we get the truth

  • We're not going to stand for being lied to by our governments...

  • ...by people that we should trust

  • They want us to trust but we can't trust them

  • The views being expressed here are extreme and belong to a minority

  • The proportion of the global population opposed to vaccines generally...

  • ...is estimated to be well under 10%

  • But anti-vaxxers, as they are often called...

  • ...are a vocal minority and their views are increasingly...

  • ...influencing broader society

  • Distrust can be infectious

  • A poll carried out in America in September...

  • ...found that only 36% of adults said they would take a vaccine...

  • ...when one becomes available...

  • ...with 64% saying they wouldn't take one or weren't sure

  • In another survey under four-fifths of people...

  • ...in 16 countries responded positively to the idea...

  • ...of taking a covid-19 vaccine, if proven safe and effective

  • In the context of covid, I think empathy is absolutely crucial

  • Professor Heidi Larson is an anthropologist...

  • ...and a leading expert on why significant sections...

  • ...of the global population feel hesitant about vaccines

  • She says a failure to confront the root causes ofvaccine hesitancy”...

  • ...as she calls it...

  • ...is driving more of these people towards anti-vaccination views

  • The majority of the public that is questioning...

  • ...they're hesitant, they're anxious

  • These are people who have genuine questions...

  • ...who are open to vaccination...

  • ...but are feeling they're not getting their answers...

  • ...and then migrate more to the more anti-end...

  • ...that seem more acknowledging their concerns...

  • ...endorsing their concerns

  • Professor Larson argues that one of the historic problems...

  • ...has been a failure by the medical establishment to listen...

  • ...to the concerns of parents who have doubts...

  • ...about inoculating their children

  • A lot of parents feel like they're being judged...

  • ...called names for even asking questions

  • And that's not at all been helpful...

  • ...in trying to support people in their decision-making...

  • ...and positive sentiments towards a vaccine

  • It's really fundamentally about trust, relational trust

  • Breaking news...

  • ...testing has been paused for one of the leading...

  • ...candidates developed by Oxford University

  • In September a volunteer from a leading...

  • ...covid-19-vaccine trial was admitted to hospital...

  • ...and the project was temporarily halted

  • Professor Larson says an opportunity was missed...

  • ...to build trust with the public

  • I wish in the news instead of just this is normal process...

  • ...safety events happen, we're taking care of it...

  • ...that the voice of a participant said...

  • ...I appreciate the care and the attention...

  • ...that the clinical team gave to me during this uncertain time

  • The message is sent that there is a caring team

  • That they're not just putting vaccines in people to count numbers...

  • ...and get to the perfect vaccine

  • That there is human empathy in this

  • The medical and pharmaceutical professions...

  • ...have been far from immune to missteps...

  • ...during the history of vaccines...

  • ...and this has helped fuel today's climate...

  • ...of vaccine hesitancy and opposition...

  • ...not least the legacy of a British doctor...

  • ...named Andrew Wakefield

  • In 1998 he published research in a highly respected medical journal...

  • ...claiming there was a link between a measles vaccine and autism

  • Wakefield and colleagues altered facts about patients in their studies

  • But his research turned out to be highly compromised

  • Studies have shown no connection between the MMR vaccination and autism

  • The journal eventually retracted the research...

  • ...and Wakefield was struck off the medical register in the UK in 2010

  • But, many members of the public continued to see Wakefield...

  • ...as a credible expert

  • This guy has been set up, it's nothing but lies

  • And millions across the world still have reservations...

  • ...about taking the measles vaccine

  • It's symptomatic of a wider decline in trust in traditional experts...

  • ...and governments in rich-world countries

  • Dr Jonathan Kennedy is an expert in global public health...

  • ...and has investigated the link between trust in government...

  • ...and authorities and hesitancy about vaccines

  • In this class we're going to talk about...

  • ...the question of how to think critically about global health

  • Dr Kennedy analysed voting data and surveys on public confidence...

  • ...in vaccines across 14 countries

  • He found a broad pattern

  • Where levels of electoral support for populist parties were higher...

  • ...levels of mistrust in vaccines also tended to be higher

  • Populist sentiment, this distrust of elites and experts...

  • ...isn't just isolated in politics

  • The forces driving scientific populism...

  • ...are all very similar to those that drive political populism

  • Dr Kennedy argues there's a strong relationship...

  • ...between vaccine hesitancy and political, social and economic crisis

  • At a time when trust between people and politicians...

  • ...has been breaking down...

  • ...a number of countries have seen a resurgence of measles

  • You trying to punch me sir?

  • I did not

  • How dare you

  • Yes, you racist

  • It certainly wasn't a coincidence that the UK last summer...

  • ...lost its measles-free status

  • How about that

  • At a time where there was massive conflict over Brexit

  • During the covid-19 pandemic...

  • ...the response of governments has further decreased trust...

  • ...in public-health experts and politicians...

  • ...not least in some countries with populist leaders

  • If test and trace isn't improved significantly...

  • ...there could be a second wave

  • In Britain, under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's leadership...

  • ...public-health guidance has changed constantly...

  • ...and confusingly

  • We're constantly working to improve that delivery system...

  • ...buying PPE from around the world

  • Creating a sense that the government is failing and incompetent

  • In a huge policy reversal affecting hundreds of thousands of pupils

  • What's more, senior political figures...

  • ...have failed to follow their own health guidelines

  • Trust in the British government as a reliable source of information...

  • ...about coronavirus fell from 67% in April to 44% in August

  • Don't let it dominate you, don't be afraid of it

  • In America, false information about the virus...

  • ...has flowed from a president...

  • ...whose contempt for truth has done more than anything else...

  • ...to sow distrust in politicians and experts

  • One month ago today President Trump said...

  • ...that the coronavirus wasdying out

  • I've read a lot about Hydroxy, I happen to think that it has an impact

  • And then I see the disinfectant, it knocks it out in a minute

  • Researchers at Cornell University analysed...

  • ...38m English-language articles about the pandemic

  • They found President Trump was the single largest driver...

  • ...of misinformation around covid-19

  • This is me and my mum and my dad in New York...

  • ...where I graduated from college

  • For some this has had lethal consequences

  • In June, Kristin Urquiza lost her father Mark to covid-19

  • 65-year-old Mark was a life-long Republican voter...

  • ...and Trump supporter from Arizona

  • He died after Arizona's governor reopened the state...

  • ...encouraged by the president

  • When the governor and the president went around...

  • ...pushing a reopening strategy and saying to the public...

  • ...it was safe if you didn't have an underlying health condition...

  • ...it was safe to go out, resume normal activities...

  • ...my dad listened and thought it was safe

  • Mark contracted covid-19 after visiting a karaoke bar

  • His daughter says placing trust in his political leaders...

  • ...proved a fatal mistake

  • Both the president and the governor of Arizona...

  • ...are on record through that time, downplaying the virus

  • Anybody who has trusted the president has been lied to...

  • ...has been misled and many people...

  • ...like my dad, have paid with their life as a result

  • While the actions of populist politicians have undermined trust...

  • ...in public-health advice and institutions

  • There is another factor which has driven this trend...

  • ...the unprecedented speed at which misinformation can spread

  • In February, the World Health Organisation warned of twin dangers...

  • ...a global pandemic but also an infodemic

  • A crisis in accurate public-health information

  • These insufferable globalist elitists like Bill Gates

  • He tells us we need a nationwide shutdown for months

  • This foundation is leading the charge to lower the world's population

  • Much of this infodemic is concentrated online

  • Social-media users...

  • ...who may not hold strong views about particular issues...

  • ...can rapidly be exposed to misleading and extremist content

  • Folks, I think they're trying to force a vaccine on all of us

  • Neil Johnson is a professor of physics...

  • ...at George Washington University

  • His research shows how fake news can gain the upper hand...

  • ...in the online battle for hearts and minds

  • What we expected to find was that there'd be a core of communities...

  • ...maybe public-health agencies...

  • ...that were promoting vaccines and establishment-health thinking

  • And that around this central strong core...

  • ...there'd be other opinions, sort of extremes

  • But that's not what we found