Vaccine opponents' use of Twitter during the 2016 US presidential election: Implications for practice and policy

The recent inauguration of President Trump carries with it many public health policy implications. During the election, President Trump, like all political candidates, made policy commitments to various interest groups including vaccine skeptics. These groups celebrated the announcement that Robert Kennedy Jr., a noted proponent of a causal link between vaccines and autism, may chair a commission on vaccines. Furthermore, during the GOP primaries, Mr. Trump endorsed messages associated with vaccine refusal on Twitter, and met with prominent vaccine refusal advocates including Andrew Wakefield, who published the retracted and discredited 1998 Lancet article claiming to link autism to MMR vaccination. In this paper, we show that the new administration has mobilized vaccine refusal advocates, potentially enabling them to influence the national agenda in a manner that could lead to changes in existing vaccination policy. Vaccination policy has proven critical to nearly eliminating many deadly infectious diseases

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Added on: 22 August, 2017
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