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Heidi Larson: Why Is Trust In Vaccines As Important As The Vaccines Themselves?

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Lessons From The Summer

In 2003, polio reemerged in twenty countries that had long been declared polio-free. Anthropologist Heidi Larson says to stop the spread of disease, we need to first build trust in vaccines. A version of this segment was originally heard in the April episode, Inoculation.

About Heidi Larson

Heidi Larson is a professor of anthropology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She is also the founding director of The Vaccine Confidence Project, a WHO Centre of Excellence that tracks vaccine hesitancy and offers mechanisms to bridge trust as well as curb misinformation.

Larson's research focuses on the social and political factors that affect uptake of health interventions and influence policies. Her particular interests are risk and rumour management and building public trust. She is also the author of Stuck: How Vaccine Rumors Start—and Why They Don't Go Away.

She previously headed Global Immunisation Communication at UNICEF, chaired GAVI's Advocacy Task Force, and served on the WHO SAGE Working Group on vaccine hesitancy.

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