World View

Politics and public trust shape vaccine risk perceptions

Public mistrust of vaccines is heightening, fuelled by new communication environments such as social media. Using the recent case of the Dengvaxia vaccine, Heidi Larson explores public and political reactions to vaccine risks.

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Author information


  1. Vaccine Confidence Project, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, UK

    • Heidi J. Larson


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Competing interests

The Vaccine Confidence Project has received funding from GSK and Merck to convene research symposia. The Merck funding was to convene a research symposium in June 2017, and was not to conduct research. Funding from GSK is to address emerging vaccine confidence issues and to build a global research project (surveys, in-depth interviews and focus groups in 15 countries) on acceptance of vaccines during pregnancy. We have developed the research protocol and are awaiting approval of the full proposal for the second stage of funding to start the global study. In neither case has GSK or Merck, or anyone else, seen the manuscript or influenced the content. The pharmaceutical industry had no role in the conceptualization and writing of the article or in the decision to publish.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Heidi J. Larson.