The Inoculation — Vaccine Misinformation and Society
How Anti-Vaccination Movements Pull Parents In

How Anti-Vaccination Movements Pull Parents In

January 14, 2022

When Daiva and Eva were starting their investigation into activism against measles vaccination, another team of journalists also set off to explore this movement in other parts of Europe. Anna Nordbeck and Malin Olofsson started investigating the Scandinavian anti-vaccination movement in 2019, and this led the team all the way to the US, where influential leaders of the movement create movies, tour the country, and teach similar movements abroad about pulling parents in and drawing them into the world of conspiracies. The Inoculation’s team called Malin Olofsson to hear more about the Swedish team’s findings.

The Vaccinkrigarna documentary is available from SVT in Swedish. 

Our reporting is supported by IJ4EU. Please subscribe to our newsletter, and this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Happy holidays – new season – coming up in January: how people get pulled into anti-vaccination movements

Happy holidays – new season – coming up in January: how people get pulled into anti-vaccination movements

December 31, 2021

As the year comes to an end, we look back at our reporting in 2021 and talk about the next season, which will begin in January.

Our reporting is supported by IJ4EU. Please subscribe to our newsletter, and this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Romania‘s Covid Jab Lag: a Country Trapped in Mistrust, Faulty Infrastructure and Trauma (Episode 19)

Romania‘s Covid Jab Lag: a Country Trapped in Mistrust, Faulty Infrastructure and Trauma (Episode 19)

December 17, 2021

As omicron cases surge, the majority of Romanians are still not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Romania has the 2nd lowest vaccination rate in the EU. It is also the country where residents are the most likely in the EU to learn about science and technology from television as opposed to other sources. Together with Italians, they are the most likely in the EU to believe that early humans roamed the Earth along with dinosaurs. Where does this pervasive distrust in the scientific consensus come from? Does television have a polarizing effect – and how can it play a more positive role? To understand the situation better, Daiva and Eva talk to Crina Boros, a Romanian journalist, who interviewed two prominent experts – Mircea Toma and Barbu Mateescu.

You can find Romania’s COVID-19 statistics here

Our reporting is supported by IJ4EU. Please subscribe to our newsletter, and this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Fight Against Vaccine, Climate Disinformation Linked: Expert

Fight Against Vaccine, Climate Disinformation Linked: Expert

December 3, 2021

Opportunistic politicians and businesspeople latched onto the pandemic in their quest for fame. In Latvia, where COVID-19 death counts went through the roof in October, this had dire consequences. In this episode, Daiva and Eva speak to Nika Aleksejeva, who is a data journalism trainer and lead researcher for the Baltics at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. She says, “COVID-19 disinformation is a very good lesson for us to be less naive about our capabilities.”

 

You can read more about Latvia’s emergency situation here, and about the disinformation dozen here. This is the story of Latvian lab disinformation. You can also read our Re:Baltica article about the superspreaders of vaccine disinformation in the Baltics here. You can read about the Baltic elves here, here, and here.

 

Our reporting is supported by IJ4EU. Please subscribe to our newsletter, and this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

How A WhatsApp-based Immigrant News Service Tackles Spanish-language Misinformation in Peru

How A WhatsApp-based Immigrant News Service Tackles Spanish-language Misinformation in Peru

November 19, 2021

Misinformation in languages other than English that span the globe is less policed, compared to English. Research shows that misinformation and disinformation in large languages like French and Spanish can harm people’s trust in vaccines around the world. That is especially true for communities that distrust mainstream media and are alienated from public services. To find out what can be done, Eva talked to Héctor Villa León, who offers a social-media-based news service for Venezuelan migrants in Peru - and beyond. In this episode, Daiva and Eva discuss what they learned from this.

You can read more about the Venezuelan community in Peru here and here, about the disinformation threat to diaspora communities here, about misinformation specifically in Spanish here, about the important role WhatsApp plays here and what WhatsApp is doing here.

Our reporting is supported by IJ4EU and Alfred Toepfer Stiftung. Please subscribe to our newsletter, and this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

How Malta Beat Vaccine Disinformation and Hesitancy to Become a COVID-19 Overachiever

How Malta Beat Vaccine Disinformation and Hesitancy to Become a COVID-19 Overachiever

November 5, 2021

The tiny island of Malta is an overachiever in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Politico. Before the end of August, the Maltese government announced that 90% of the population over 12 years of age is fully vaccinated. This meant that the first phase of the vaccination programme was largely complete before rolling out boosters to vulnerable populations from mid-September.

But it’s not enough to say that vaccinating the population was easy because Malta is so small. Data from Eurobarometer surveys and the WHO show that vaccine hesitancy was not that uncommon before the pandemic. In the Eurobarometer survey, over a third said they believed in the conspiracy that viruses were produced in government labs in order to control the population - that’s above the EU average. So how did Malta manage such a successful vaccination campaign?

To find out, Daiva talked to public health and infodemic expert Prof. Neville Calleja and the vaccination programme’s coordinator Steve Agius. In this episode, Eva and Daiva discuss what they learned.

Our reporting is supported by IJ4EU and Alfred Toepfer Stiftung. Please subscribe to our newsletter, and this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Who Believes Misinformation? Are Liberals More Susceptible?

Who Believes Misinformation? Are Liberals More Susceptible?

October 22, 2021

Researching the benefits of situations where people come together to solve puzzles or make decisions, Cecilie Steenbuch Traberg realised that there is a dark side of collective intelligence. This led her to research fake news. When her team showed simulated social media posts, accurate or not, to a sample of Americans, it emerged that liberals more than conservatives judge information as reliable, even when it isn’t, when it comes from a source they trust. So The Inoculation team contacted Cecilie Steenbuch Traberg to find out more. You can read her and Sander van der Linden’s paper here. The tweet mentioned by Eva is here.

Our reporting is supported by IJ4EU and Alfred Toepfer Stiftung. Please subscribe to our newsletter, and this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

How Anti-Vaccination Movements Make Money and Serve Hostile Actors

How Anti-Vaccination Movements Make Money and Serve Hostile Actors

October 8, 2021

After a wave of protests against vaccines and vaccine mandates in Europe, it is clear that despite very different policies across Europe, anti-vaccination movements that oppose them are remarkably alike. These movements are tightly linked, even though some of their connections are hidden. They amplify one another, and they have  elaborate ways to support their activities financially - from selling books on Amazon to offering legal services to anyone who feels they have been harmed by vaccination.

We had discussed this with disinformation researcher Dr Aliaksandr Herasimenka, so we thought we will come back to this interview and highlight his insights that explain the mobilisation around vaccines these days. A researcher at the Computational Propaganda Project of the Oxford Internet Institute, Herasimenka is a co-author of a paper on misinformation distribution on Telegram.

The interview was edited for brevity and clarity. You can read the Alliance for Securing Democracy's research on China's propaganda and search engines here. We ran such a search ourselves, and the clips in the beginning of the episode are from the results we got.

Our reporting is supported by Journalismfund.eu, Media Lab Bayern and Alfred Toepfer Stiftung. Please subscribe to our newsletter, and this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

The Inoculation’s September Round-Up:Vaccine Mandates, Idar Oberstein Mask-Murder And More

The Inoculation’s September Round-Up:Vaccine Mandates, Idar Oberstein Mask-Murder And More

September 24, 2021

A number of relevant articles, studies and data has recently come out, so Eva and Daiva review suggested readings for The Inoculation’s September round-up.

You can read these sources here:

And check out our episodes on vaccine mandates and disinformation in Slovakia.

Our reporting is supported by Journalismfund.eu, Media Lab Bayern and Alfred Toepfer Stiftung. Please subscribe to this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation

Mandatory vaccination: Can it backfire?

Mandatory vaccination: Can it backfire?

September 10, 2021

In our first episode after the summer break we discuss mandatory vaccination mandates - something we have been researching before the COVID-19 pandemic began. In late 2020, we talked to former European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, who has a lot of experience with vaccine mandates. 

As a commissioner, Andriukaitis campaigned for vaccination measures around Europe. But before that, as Lithuania’s minister of health, he introduced vaccine requirements for children, following a measles outbreak in 2013. But when he left for the Commission, without strong backing from the top, the legislation became stuck in parliament and was eventually repealed. Another measles outbreak followed in 2019, and vaccination became an electoral issue in Lithuania. You can read more about Lithuania’s struggle with vaccine hesitancy in our article.

We also talk to Oxford Vaccine Group researcher Samantha Vanderslott, University of Exeter Professor Jason Reifler, and Italian pediatrician Lorenza Romani.

Our reporting is supported by Journalismfund.eu, Media Lab Bayern and Alfred Toepfer Stiftung. Please subscribe to this show on Apple Podcasts, Audible, Google Podcasts, Spotify or another platform of your choice. Follow us on Facebook as @theinoculation, on Twitter as @TInoculation, and on Instagram as @the_inoculation.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App