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Home / Health / Populist contagion of Europe – POLITICO

Populist contagion of Europe – POLITICO

Europe knows there is a vaccine problem – it's just not sure how to fix it.

A combination of deep-rooted social and political forces, including the rise of populism and loss of confidence in institutions, is driving this, according to experts […]to reviving infectious diseases across Europe.

When a recent EU survey found that nearly half of Europe's population suspected false claims about vaccines, Vice-President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen described the trend in a meeting with reporters as "worrying". 19659002] With the increase in measles throughout the block, Brussels has been trying to persuade countries to align their vaccination plans, fight against false information and improve the availability of vaccines.

Although people know that vaccines are important The Eurobarometer survey was released on Friday. A majority in more than 1

6 countries indicates that vaccines are often associated with serious side effects, and more than a third of respondents say vaccines can cause the disease they are protecting against – both are untrue.

"We have whole belief systems regarding the functioning of the world in general and the role that elites and experts play in the world" – Jonathan Kennedy, University Lecturer

Politician on anti-establishment platforms Reject vaccinations against forced vaccinations, and in some cases raise fears of the dangers of jabs, continue to find support.

"We are not dealing with people's misconceptions about vaccines. We are dealing with whole belief systems, how the world works in general, and the role of elites and experts in the world, "said Jonathan Kennedy, a lecturer in global health at Queen Mary University in London, who has tracked the connection between the United States Increase in populism and hesitation of vaccines.

"If these major political and economic factors are not addressed, if these people do not feel they are involved in society, then I think it's rather hard to think how their views can be counteracted. Kennedy said.

While governments such as France and Italy are celebrating the success of compulsory Jab programs in raising coverage rates, the survey suggests that this contributes little to combating misinformation. In France, 60 percent of people wrongly believe that vaccines often cause serious side effects – the fourth highest among the EU countries behind Cyprus, Croatia and Malta.

With the rise in measles across the bloc, Brussels has adopted a dispute resolution approach to bring countries in line with vaccination plans, tackle misinformation and improve vaccine availability Jasper Jacobs / AFP via Getty Images

Emilie Karafillakis, Research Associate The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which issued a report to the Commission on the trust of vaccines, said concerns in France are linked to "general distrust" of health authorities, as well as cultural barriers such as the popularity of homeopaths, who may not support vaccination. She also pointed to difficulties for parents who want to have their children vaccinated, but encountered problems in controlling the complexity of the health system.

After Paris had increased the number of mandatory vaccinations in 2018, preliminary data from the Ministry of Health were presented. The number of immunization rates increased.

Members of the far-right National Rally had resisted politics, arguing that people should have the right to make their own health care decisions.

In the United Kingdom, where state health policy holds Since discrediting British doctor Andrew Wakefield's allegations of embarrassing MMR jab (measles, mumps, and rubella) with autism, 54 percent of respondents remain Opinion that vaccines often cause serious side effects.

Chief of Health Service Simon Stevens on Thursday warned that public rejection of vaccines was a "growing public health bomb " according to a UNICE In an F study, more than 500,000 children were registered in the UK between In 2010 and 2017 no measles received measles .

While Experts Overall Still Minimize Mask Risk, European Health Authorities Find "Great Outbreaks" In those countries where endemic transmission has been previously eliminated or disrupted, there are still deaths. "Last year, there were more than 12,000 measles cases in the European Economic Area, and significant increases were recorded in France, Poland, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Bulgaria and Ireland in 2019. Outbreaks in Germany led the Ministry of Health to promise a vaccination plan by May.

The fact that measles are so contagious means that it is usually the first contagious disease that occurs among unvaccinated children. [19659209] Online Noise

] "There is growing evidence that some organizations use the vaccine question as a means of voicing distrust of democratic institutions," said Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Health Hygiene and Tropical Medicines. A study in the US found that Russian bots sent out both pro- and anti-vaccine messages to create confusion in the pre-presidential primary elections.

This reinforces a "problem of scientific literacy in general" in Europe, McKee said.

While the majority of people turn to information about vaccines, around 20 percent of respondents said they consult websites and social media.

"One of the problems is that many of these messages are quite subliminal," McKee said. "It's about creating a climate, and people may not know where they saw it, but there are so many of them that the debate is changing."

Social media has made it easier for people to disinformation to spread | Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP on Getty Images

Platforms like Facebook and YouTube are making "fake information very easy to spread," said Raegan MacDonald, head of EU policy at Mozilla, on Thursday in Brussels on an event.

Considering that & # 39;

& # 39; raison d & # 39; être & # 39; from social media platforms is to engage people, "the most sensational content can and will become viral," MacDonald said. "That's the measure of success, not what's real, what's scientifically proven, what solid information is."

Recently, multiple platforms have committed to stopping the spread of anti-vaccine content, and UK Health Minister Matt Hancock plans to meet with social media Companies this week are discussing how they can prevent the spread of anti-vaccine content. Prevent messages on the Internet.

Katainen said the commission is also paying attention, though her disinformation efforts before the European elections were largely focused on political news. The Commission is working to develop an online vaccination information portal with the European Medicines Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control for "Monitoring Online Vaccination Information", said a spokesperson.

In the Czech Republic, only two-thirds of them say that the measles vaccine in Slovakia is only about three-quarters safe.

But Katainen also admitted that there is "no magic wand" or "easy way" to correct it.

Although 65 percent of respondents were in the Eurobarometer One survey said their doctor is the most trusted source of vaccine information. A study published last year by the Commission showed that in many countries even doctors are not in discussion.

In the Czech Republic, only two-thirds of doctors say measles vaccine is safe and only about three quarters in Slovakia. In Italy and Estonia, about 20 percent of physicians disagree that vaccines are compatible with religious beliefs. In Poland it was almost 30 percent.

Robb Butler, a senior social scientist working on vaccine demand for UNICEF, said he had recently heard of a doctor in Sweden complaining that medical students only received about 40 minutes of vaccination training in immunology during the Brussels event Thursday.

"That's shocking," said Butler. "They are still our most trusted source of information, and we'll disappoint them right at the beginning of their careers."

Sarah Wheaton contributed to the coverage.