Thursday 21 January 2021


Heidi Larson

Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science; Director, The Vaccine Confidence Project

How vaccine rumours start - and why they don't go away.

Vaccine reluctance and refusal are no longer limited to the margins of society. Debates around vaccines’ necessity ― along with questions around their side effects ― have gone mainstream, blending with geopolitical conflicts, political campaigns, celebrity causes, and ‘natural’ lifestyles to win a growing number of hearts and minds.

Expanding on themes from her new book, ‘Stuck’, Heidi  examines how the issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy are, more than anything, about people feeling left out of the conversation.  She provides a clear-eyed examination of the social vectors that transmit vaccine rumours, their manifestations around the globe, and how these individual threads are all connected.

Heidi Larson

Heidi is an anthropologist and the Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where she is a Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science.

She was previously a Research Fellow at Harvard University Centre for Population and Development and a former Associate at the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House.

'In 'Stuck', anthropologist Heidi Larson explains why debunking vaccine misinformation with logic, reason, and scientific facts are not nearly enough. By viewing vaccine refusal as a cultural movement, Larson explains how it is only through understanding the root causes of false beliefs about vaccines that we can begin to change them. A compelling guide on how to treat the disease and not the symptoms.'

Paul A. Offit, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia