Viewpoint: Anti-vaxxers are expected to fight a coronavirus vaccine. Here’s one way to deal with them

download
Credit: Ted S. Warren/AP

[T]he race for a [coronavirus] vaccine and the techniques being used to manufacture it are bound to activate some familiar fears. In particular, those who worry about “unnatural” medical interventions may fear the vaccine more than the pandemic it’s designed to stop.

The trouble — at least where public perception is concerned — may begin with the vexing terms “synthetic” and “modified.” Consumers draw strong distinctions between natural and artificial. This is most obvious in the food industry, where non-GMO and natural branding command outsize influence. Overcoming the stigma of “artificial” or “synthetic” is also proving to be a problem for so-called “cultured” meat. Yet rejection of high-tech foods is a symptom of a broader preference for the natural and fear of the “unnatural,” which has featured in historical objections to everything from in vitro fertilization to cloning animals.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Confronting coronavirus outbreak requires us to cope with our own 'paralyzing' fears

Troublingly, the natural/unnatural binary is a powerful paradigm for parents who reject some or all vaccines.

Vaccine development ought to be conducted with the continual feedback of laypeople, upon whose willingness to vaccinate our general health depends. That means anticipating new concerns and empowering the public by soliciting their input on how to communicate about them.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend