A few decades ago, nobody really questioned vaccines. They were viewed as a standard part of staying healthy and safe. Today, the number of people questioning vaccines risks prolonging a pandemic that has already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Doubt, a new series from Prognosis, looks at the forces that have been breaking down that trust. We’ll trace the rise of vaccine skepticism in America to show how we got here — and where we’re going.
Part Six: Hope
In our final episode of the season, we look at where vaccine hesitancy stands in America today. More Americans are getting vaccinated every day, but the numbers of skeptics are still high enough to seriously threaten efforts to achieve widespread immunity and end the pandemic. The answer to solving that problem, though, may be an attitude adjustment from public health.
Part Five: Getting Out of the Boat
We meet Dr. Timothy Sloan, a pastor of a black church in Texas, who is torn over how to talk to his congregants about the Covid-19 vaccines. He is skeptical about getting one, and knows the rest of his church is, too. But, the vaccines could also be a lifeline. Black Americans have died at about twice the rate of white Americans from the virus. So while there may be trust issues with the vaccines in communities of color, they’re also the communities that need vaccines the most. Dr. Sloan goes on a journey to find out who can help him learn more about the vaccines, and how the medical establishment can win back some of the trust it has lost over generations of mistreatment.
Part Four: 'Let's Go to War'
In October 2020, anti-vaccine elite gathered for a conference to discuss, among other things, how to use the pandemic to grow their movement. In this episode, we travel inside the world of anti-vaccine extremists to show how they weaponize uncertainty and mistrust to spread rumors about vaccines — rumors that threaten to prolong the global pandemic.
Part Three: The Happiest Place on Earth
The 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak was a pivotal moment in explaining the vaccine hesitation we see today. The outbreak made clear that number of people opting out of vaccination was significant. But it also changed the people protesting vaccines. Before that, activists speaking out about vaccines had mainly been parents concerned about the safety of their kids. California's push to get rid of vaccine exemptions in the wake of the outbreak changed the conversation. It became political. It became about choice and freedom and democracy.
Part Two: The Man Behind The Myth
Meet the man behind all the myths: Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield’s retracted 1998 study linking autism to vaccines helped kickstart the modern vaccine hesitancy movement. We’ll explore the forces that helped propel Wakefield into the spotlight and show how groundwork Wakefield laid decades ago helped seed the mistrust we’re seeing in the age of the coronavirus.
Part One: Rumor Has It
In the series premiere of "Doubt," we meet Jon, a New York City paramedic struggling to decide whether he should get vaccinated. Bloomberg health reporter Kristen V. Brown shows how the pandemic has led many people like him to question vaccines for the first time — and how this distrust threatens to prolong the pandemic.
Better places to understand vaccine hesitancy
If you want to know why people are vaccine hesitant, go listen to the growing body of censored doctors, scientists and journalists. The HighWire is a great place to start (podcast and videos). Same with Children’s Health Defense with Robert Kennedy, their board of directors are made up of very impressive Ivy League doctors.
For crying out loud, the COVID vaccine isn’t FDA approved (only emergency approval) and the companies have zero liability if it kills or injures you. If you take it you’re participating in a medical trial, and it doesn’t reduce the risk of transmission, only symptoms.
For one of them (AstroZenica I think?) a few months into human testing, they vaccinated the control group. So now there’s no control group to compare to when looking at long term side effects.
Oh, and this podcast is by Bloomberg, who is financially tied to Bill Gates and the vaccine industry. Don’t get your vaccine information from the people who profit from it, look to independent journalists.
Public service announcement
I have been waiting for a civilized critique of the pandemic and vaccine cures. I am persuaded that the loudest voices against COVID-19 vaccination predicate their opposition on conspiratorial misconduct by those for whom the public should trust. I’m sorry but on balance, the fear and mistrust of the vaccine that is sown by opponents is incredibly more perilous to societal health than the few well documented issues with the vaccines. The opposition arguments are made irresponsibly and are done without consequence. This podcast has laid out the issues in this debate and the consequences of inaction. They have truly provided a public service and for that I thank you.
Very interesting and well researched. However, I’d like to add that although I disagree with Robert Kennedy’s stance on vaccines, I think he was correct when he said that he was censored when he was banned from Instagram. I think Instagram was incorrect to ban him. But thank you for a very interesting and engaging podcast!