Battling anti-vaccine fears, myths as US measles outbreak rages on

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Image: Air Force/Victor Tangermann

[Blima] Marcus, part of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, helped form a volunteer group of health-care professionals this year to confront vaccine hesitancy and misinformation that officials blame for the measles outbreak — now in its 10th month — that is predominantly sickening Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. 

Now, she and other nurses are tutoring the doctors themselves about how to respond respectfully and effectively to such concerns.

Health officials in New York and across the country are increasingly trying new strategies to spread accurate information about vaccines. They are relying more on community groups instead of government agencies, in an acknowledgment of a broad distrust of science and government, particularly in culturally isolated communities.

At the recent session in Brooklyn, Marcus addressed the most common pieces of misinformation spread by anti-vaccination activists. Her presentation was succinct and packed with practical tips: Here’s how doctors can show parents how to find reputable studies online. Here are responses to 13 common concerns about vaccines, from ingredients to side effects.

New York eliminated the religious exemption to vaccine requirements for schoolchildren last month, and Marcus said she expects to get requests to hold more workshops for parents and health-care providers. 

Read full, original post: Nurses are teaching doctors how to treat anti-vaccine fears and myths

Related article:  Podcast: Vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit explains the 'dos and dont's' of battling scientific misinformation
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