Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine Hesitancy is a propagandistic euphemism used to describe the “delay in acceptance or refusal of vaccines despite availability of vaccine services”.1) The term is used as an excuse for “low vaccine uptake”,2) dismissing any genuine concerns as the result of a “complex interaction of different social, cultural, political and personal factors”3) - factors more simply summarized as “complacency, convenience and confidence”.

Media

On September 14, 2020, the Globe and Mail published an opinion article titled “A vaccine may not be the simple solution we are hoping for” written by Dr. Zain Chagla (an Associate Professor at McMaster University, Dr. Isaac Bogoch (associate professor at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti (lecturer at the University of Toronto.) The authors argued that the most likely scenario for COVID-19 was a vaccine that “prevents some but not all person-to-person SARS-CoV-2 transmission,” and that “high rates of immunization are needed for maximum effectiveness”. To accomplish this, the authors suggest “proactive messaging” to achieve “high vaccine uptake globally”, and using a campaign to mass-vaccinate with the influenza vaccine as an opportunity “to troubleshoot for an effective COVID-19 vaccine rollout campaign”.4)

Office of Science and Technology Policy (OTSP)

More than a dozen in the 140-person White House office are current or former employees of Schmidt By Morgan Phillips, Politics Reporter For Dailymail 28 March 2022

REVEALED - Google billionaire Eric Schmidt has PAID the salaries of staff inside Biden's science office and has been quietly lobbying on policy since the Obama administration

Schmidt, who stepped down in his role at Google's parent company Alphabet in 2020, now serves on the board of numerous tech companies. Schmidt even indirectly paid the salaries of OTSP employees Former OTSP general counsel Rachel Wallace repeatedly raised concerns over Schmidt's influence. She believes her concerns were the source of the wrath she faced from OTSP's former head Eric Lander, who stepped down recently for bullying. Lander and Schmidt are close associates.

Schmidt even indirectly paid the salaries of OTSP employees, according to Politico. Schmidt's charity arm, Schmidt Futures, paid the salaries of two science office employees while they worked as unpaid consultants. For six weeks, the foundation paid the salary of current chief of staff, Marc Aidinoff, who is now one of the most senior officials in the shakeup after Lander's resignation.

Former OTSP official Tom Kalil, chief innovation officer at Schmidt Futures, also remained on the charity's payroll for four months while he was advising the OTSP as an unpaid consultant. He left the office after ethics complaints.

Two other OTSP officials continued working part-time at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, a biotech facility formerly led by Lander where Schmidt serves on the board. Both have since left OTSP. Two others had their salaries paid by the Federation of American Scientists, that Schmidt pays into. 5)

1)
Butler, R. Vaccine Hesitancy: what it means and what we need to know in order to tackle it. World Health Organization. Retrieved January 16, 2022, from https://www.who.int/immunization/research/forums_and_initiatives/1_RButler_VH_Threat_Child_Health_gvirf16.pdf
2)
Bhatia, A. (2021, January 22). Vaccine Hesitancy: What It Means And How We Can Tackle It, Experts Explain. NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth Swachh India; NDTV Convergence Limited. https://archive.ph/nekzx/
3)
Dubé, E., Laberge, C., Guay, M., Bramadat, P., Roy, R., & Bettinger, J. (2013). Vaccine hesitancy: an overview. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 9(8), 1763–1773. https://doi.org/10.4161/hv.24657
4)
Chagla, Z., Bogoch, I., & Chakrabarti, S. (2020, September 14). Opinion: A vaccine may not be the simple solution we are hoping for. The Globe and Mail. https://archive.ph/3BC6U
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