Vaccine Hesitancy Meeting the ChallengePage 9 of 11

Paper 4. The Complex Contagion of Doubt in the Anti-Vaccine Movement


A bottle containing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Wikimedia Commons

The spread of vaccine hesitancy comes from the increased acceptance of the possibility that vaccines can be harmful, which grows not through the sharing of specific information (or misinformation), but rather from having that information socially reinforced to the extent that citizens believe it to be credible. Therefore, once the anti-vaccination view is perceived to be a legitimate side of a debate, it has already won because the goal is to create credibility for that view and spread doubt about vaccination.


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