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Conspiracy Theories

How can we better understanding common vaccine perceptions? Here, we explore the idea of 'conspiracy theories' as a root.
Graffiti of the word 'scandemic'.
Often, conspiracy theories can become more common when people fear that they may be losing control because of a certain events.

Conspiracy theories exist to explain the facts of a situation in a way which is different to the accepted norm. They also focus blame on a specific group of people. People may choose to follow conspiracy theories in order to escape inconvenient facts.

Big Pharma

Speech bubble with the following text: ‘‘Pharmaceutical companies are only interested in making money and are not trying to help people’’

This theme claims that vaccines are part of a conspiracy by ‘Big Pharma’ (typically medical, pharmaceutical, regulatory, and/or health organisations, including health care professionals) in order to increase profits. Supporters of vaccines are perceived to be in the pocket of these organisations.

Speech bubble with the following text: ‘‘Most of the basic research into the early stages of vaccine development involves universities and independent researchers. Vaccines are scrutinised by doctors and independent scientific experts, as well as government health officials, before they are approved and licensed. Pharmaceutical companies, like all private companies, must make financial profit to continue to work effectively. However, vaccines which are not safe will not be licensed by governments, and so pharmaceutical companies would not be able to make a profit on unsafe vaccines.’’

Targeting Marginalised Groups

Speech bubble with the following text: ‘‘‘Vaccinations are made to harm marginalised groups like people in prisons.’’

Poorer countries and minority groups are often marginalised and experience health inequalities. Therefore, it is understandable that people would want to be alert to such inequalities and defend their right to receive high-quality medical treatments, regardless of their ethnicity, gender or country of birth.

Speech bubble with the following text: ‘Marginalised groups often experience health inequalities, such as lower access to healthcare services, treatments or testing. This means that people in these groups are often more affected by infectious diseases than the general community. People living and working in prisons are among those who can benefit most from getting vaccinated, because they are more often exposed to infectious disease than the rest of the population. States have an obligation to ensure that vaccines are safe, accessible and affordable to all who need them. ’’

This article is from the free online

Prison Health: Vaccinations for People Working and Living in Prisons (Non-Vaccine Trained Staff)

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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