The other night, midway through watching a clip from “Plandemic” — a documentary that went viral on social media last week, spreading baseless lies about the coronavirus to millions of Americans overnight — I had a terrifying thought:

美國社交媒體上瘋傳一部名叫《瘟疫大計劃》的紀錄片,一夜之間向成百上千萬美國人傳播關于新冠病毒毫無根據的謠言??吹饺藗儗χ{言盲從盲信,我不禁產生了一個可怕的想法:

What if we get a Covid-19 vaccine and half the country refuses to take it?

即使我們研發出了新冠疫苗,但如果全美有一半人拒絕接種疫苗該怎么辦?




First, because of the pandemic’s urgency, any promising Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be fast-tracked through the testing and approval process. It may not go through years of clinical trials and careful studies of possible long-term side effects, the way other drugs do. That could create an opening for anti-vaccine activists to claim that it is untested and dangerous, and to spin reasonable concerns about the vaccine into widespread, unfounded fears about its safety.

首先,由于疫情的緊迫性,任何有希望的疫苗都可能走快速通道通過測試和批準程序。它可能不會像其他藥物那樣,經過多年臨床試驗和對可能的長期副作用的仔細研究。這可能會給反疫苗活動者提供機會,他們會宣稱疫苗未經測試且具備危險性,并將民眾對疫苗的合理擔憂轉化為對其安全性的廣泛、毫無根據的懷疑。


Third, if and when a Covid-19 vaccine is approved for widespread use, people may be required to take it before being allowed to fly on certain airlines, attend certain schools or enter certain businesses. That’s a good idea, public health-wise, but it would play into some of the worst fears of the anti-vaccine movement.

第三,如果新冠病毒疫苗被批準廣泛使用,一些航空公司、學?;驙I業場所可能要求人們接種疫苗才能進入。就公眾健康而言,這是個好主意,但它會給反疫苗運動帶來口實。

Mandatory vaccination has been an especially potent talking point for anti-vaccine activists, some of whom have rebranded themselves “pro-choice” when it comes to vaccines. And years of battling states and school districts over mandatory vaccine policies have given them a playbook for creating a tangle of legal roadblocks and damaging publicity campaigns.

反疫苗活動者一直將強制疫苗接種作為一個輿論焦點,當談到疫苗時,他們中的一些人會標榜自己“支持民眾自由選擇接種疫苗”。多年來,多年來各州和學區在強制性疫苗政策上的斗爭,給了反疫苗活動者制造法律障礙,進行詆毀宣傳活動的劇本和經驗。

I wanted to understand if my fears about a vaccine-related information war were valid, so I reached out to Neil Johnson and Rhys Leahy, two researchers at George Washington University. On Wednesday, their study of the online anti-vaccine movement was published in the science journal Nature.

我想知道我對疫苗信息戰的擔憂是否有道理,于是聯系了華盛頓大學的兩位研究員——尼爾·約翰遜(Neil Johnson)和里斯·萊希(Rhys Leahy),他們對網上反疫苗運動的研究于周三發表在科學雜志《自然》上。

The study, which mapped the vaccine conversation on Facebook during the 2019 measles outbreak, found that there were nearly three times as many active anti-vaccination communities as pro-vaccination communities. In addition, they found that while pro-vaccine pages tended to have more followers, anti-vaccine pages were faster-growing.

該研究追溯了2019年麻疹爆發期間臉書上關于疫苗的討論,發現活躍的反疫苗團體幾乎是支持疫苗團體的三倍。此外,他們發現,雖然支持疫苗團體的成員往往有更多關注者,但反疫苗團體的話題討論增長速度更快。

The researchers found that Facebook pages pushing accurate pro-vaccine information were mostly clustered in an insular group, while the anti-vaccine pages treated vaccine resistance as a kind of political campaign, and used different messages to reach different types of undecided “voters.” A page promoting holistic health remedies might start seeding doubts about vaccines among liberal yoga moms, while a page promoting resistance to government-mandated vaccines might appeal to conservatives and libertarians.

研究人員發現,在臉書上宣傳支持疫苗討論大多集中在一個孤立的群體里;而反對疫苗的群體則把對抗疫苗當作一種政治運動,并且會使用不同的媒體平臺,以便宣傳吸收尚未做出決定的不同類型的“選民”(無知民眾)。
一個提倡“整體 療法”的話題可能會吸引喜歡瑜伽的媽媽們,然后向她們散播對疫苗的懷疑,而一個提倡抵制政府強制接種的話題可能會吸引保守派和自由主義者。

“Public health advocacy groups tend to be monolithic, sending one message” that vaccines are safe and effective, Ms. Leahy said. “The anti-vax movement is really diverse.”

“公共衛生部門的宣傳手段往往是單一的,他們只會重復傳遞一個信息,”即疫苗是安全有效的,萊希說?!岸匆呙邕\動的宣傳手段真的很多樣化?!?

There is some reason for hope. Recent surveys have suggested that most Americans would take a Covid-19 vaccine if one were available today. Even politicians who have expressed skepticism about vaccines in the past, including President Trump, are rooting for one that can prevent the disease. And some public health experts I spoke to said public pressure to end the pandemic and return to normal life might overpower anti-vaccine activism.

我們有理由抱有希望。最近的調查顯示,如果今天就有新冠疫苗,大多數美國人都會去接種。即使是過去曾對疫苗表示懷疑的政治人士,包括特朗普總統,也在支持接種可以預防這種疾病的疫苗。我采訪過的一些公共衛生專家說,公眾對恢復正常生活的急切渴望可能會壓倒反疫苗運動。

“People are seeing the toll of Covid-19 all around,” said Kasisomayajula Viswanath, a professor of health communication at the Harvard School of Public Health. “My guess is that if there is a successful vaccine, especially in the absence of treatment, people may discount the anti-vaccine groups.”

“人們正在認識新冠病毒的全面危害,”哈佛大學公共衛生學院健康傳播教授說?!拔蚁?,如果疫苗研發成功,而且在除了疫苗沒有其他治療手段的情況下,人們可能就不去理會反疫苗群體了?!?

But public acceptance of a Covid-19 vaccine is far from a sure thing. And seeing platforms like Facebook and YouTube struggle to contain the spread of videos like “Plandemic” makes me worry that when the time comes to persuade billions of people to take a critical coronavirus vaccine, our public health officials and social media companies will be outgunned by a well-oiled anti-vaccine movement that has already polluted the air with misinformation and conspiracy theories.

但公眾對新型冠狀病毒疫苗的接受程度還遠未確定??吹侥槙陀凸苓@樣的平臺難以遏制《瘟疫大計劃》這種造謠視頻的傳播,讓我感到擔心,如果真到需要說服數十億人接受新冠疫苗的時候,我們的公共衛生官員和社交媒體公司,可能會敵不過一個高效運行、充滿謠言和陰謀論的反疫苗運動。

We can prevent that, but only if we start laying the groundwork before it’s too late. Organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the W.H.O. need to understand the dynamics of online anti-vaccination communities and start waging a hearts-and-minds campaign to restore faith in the medical establishment while a vaccine is being developed. Social media companies need to take the threat of vaccine-related misinformation seriously and devote tremendous resources to stopping its spread. And those of us who believe in vaccines need to realize that we may not be in the majority for long and do everything we can to reach the people in our lives who might be susceptible to anti-vaccine propaganda.

我們可以防止這種情況發生,但前提是我們必須在為時已晚之前開始打好基礎。美國疾病控制與預防中心和世界衛生組織等組織需要了解網上反疫苗群體的動態,并開始發起一場全身心投入的運動,在開發疫苗的同時恢復人們對醫療機構的信心。社交媒體公司需要認真對待與疫苗相關的虛假信息,并投入大量資源來阻止其傳播。而我們這些相信疫苗的人需要認識到,我們的多數地位持續不了太久,并且盡我們所能去對自己生活中容易受到反疫苗宣傳影響的人進行疫苗科普。

To recover from this pandemic, we need to mobilize a pro-vaccine movement that is as devoted, as internet-savvy and as compelling as the anti-vaccine movement is for its adherents. We need to do it quickly, Millions of lives and trillions of dollars in economic activity may depend not just on producing a vaccine, but on persuading people to accept it.

為了從這場疫情中恢復過來,我們需要動員一場支持疫苗的運動,這場運動要像反疫苗運動的成員一樣專注、精通互聯網,一樣吸引民眾眼球。
成百上千萬人的生命和數萬億美元的經濟活動可能不僅取決于疫苗生產,還取決于我們能否說服人們接受疫苗,我們必須盡快行動起來。