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November 6, 2020 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Heidi J. Larson, MA, PhD, is an anthropologist and director of The Vaccine Confidence Project; professor of anthropology, risk and decision science in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; clinical professor in the Department of Global Health at University of Washington; and guest professor at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Larson previously headed global immunisation communication at UNICEF, chaired GAVI’s Advocacy Task Force, and served on the WHO SAGE Working Group on vaccine hesitancy.
The Vaccine Confidence Project is a WHO Centre of Excellence on addressing vaccine hesitancy. Larson’s research focuses on the analysis of social and political factors that can affect uptake of health interventions and influence policies. Her particular interest is on risk and rumour management from clinical trials to delivery — and building public trust. She served on the FDA Medical Countermeasure Emergency Communication Expert Working Group and is currently principle investigator for a global study on acceptance of vaccination during pregnancy; an EU-funded project on the deployment, acceptance and compliance of an Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone; and a global study on public sentiments and emotions around current and potential measures to contain and treat COVID-19. Her book Stuck (2020, Oxford University Press) describes the social, political, and digital drivers of vaccine rumors and how they impact vaccine behavior.