纽约时报双语版-如果有了新冠疫苗,但美国人拒绝接种怎么办?

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Get Ready for a Vaccine Information War

如果有了新冠疫苗,但美国人拒绝接种怎么办?

纽约时报双语版-如果有了新冠疫苗,但美国人拒绝接种怎么办?

反疫苗团体比许多批评者认为的更有组织性和战略性。
Bill Diodato/Corbis, via Getty Images

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

上个星期,社交媒体上疯传一部名叫《瘟疫大计划》(Plandemic) 的纪录片,一夜之间向成百上千万美国人传播关于新冠病毒毫无根据的谎言和已被揭穿的无稽之谈。看到其中一个片段,我产生了一个可怕的想法:

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

如果我们有了新冠病毒的疫苗,但全国有一半人拒绝接种怎么办?

It occurred to me that all the misinformation we’ve seen so far — the false rumors that 5G cellphone towers fuel the coronavirus, that drinking bleach or injecting UV rays can cure it, that Dr. Anthony Fauci is part of an anti-Trump conspiracy — may be just the warm-up act for a much bigger information war when an effective vaccine becomes available to the public. This war could pit public health officials and politicians against an anti-vaccination movement that floods social media with misinformation, conspiracy theories and propaganda aimed at convincing people that the vaccine is a menace rather than a lifesaving, economy-rescuing miracle.

我发现到目前为止,我们看到的所有错误信息——5G信号塔导致新冠病毒、喝漂白剂或接受紫外线照射可以治愈这种病、安东尼·福奇(Anthony Fauci)参与了反特朗普阴谋——所有这些可能只是为有效疫苗推出时一场更大信息战的热身。这场战争可能会让公共卫生官员和政界人士与反疫苗运动对抗,届时这个运动将在社交媒体上到处发布虚假信息、阴谋论和宣传,目的是让人们相信疫苗是一种威胁,而不是拯救生命、拯救经济的奇迹。

Scariest of all? It could actually work.

最可怕的是什么?是可能真的会这样。

I’ve been following the anti-vaccine community on and off for years, watching its members operate in private Facebook groups and Instagram accounts, and have found that they are much more organized and strategic than many of their critics believe. They are savvy media manipulators, effective communicators and experienced at exploiting the weaknesses of social media platforms. (Just one example: Shortly after Facebook and YouTube began taking down copies of “Plandemic” for violating their rules, I saw people in anti-vaccine groups editing it in subtle ways to evade the platforms’ automated enforcement software and reposting it.)

多年来,我一直在断断续续地关注反疫苗团体,观察其成员在Facebook和Instagram上的私人群组和账号的活动,发现他们比许多批评者认为的更有组织性和战略性。他们是精明的媒体操纵者、高效的沟通者,擅长利用社交媒体平台的弱点。(举个例子:在Facebook和YouTube撤下违反规定的《瘟疫大计划》一片后不久,我看到反疫苗团体的人对它做了微妙的编辑,以避开平台的自动执行软件,然后再次转发。)

In short, the anti-vaxxers have been practicing for this. And I’m worried that they will be unusually effective in sowing doubts about a Covid-19 vaccine for several reasons.

简而言之,反疫苗者一直都在做这种事。我担心,出于以下几个原因,他们可以非常高效地引起人们对新冠疫苗的怀疑。

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,由于疫情的紧迫性,任何有希望的疫苗都可能走快速通道通过测试和批准程序。它可能不会像其他药物那样,经过多年临床试验和对可能的长期副作用的仔细研究。这可能会给反疫苗活动者提供机会,宣称疫苗未经测试且危险,并将对疫苗的合理担忧转化为对其安全性的广泛、毫无根据的怀疑。

Second, if a vaccine does emerge, there is a good chance that leading health organizations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or the World Health Organization will have a hand in producing or distributing it. If that’s the case, anti-vaccine activists, who have been crusading against these groups for years, will have plenty of material stockpiled to try to discredit them. They are already taking aim at Mr. Gates with baseless conspiracy theories claiming that he created and is trying to profit from the virus. These theories will be amplified, and the attempts to discredit leading virus research efforts will intensify as the vaccine nears.

其次,如果确实出现了疫苗,那么像比尔和梅琳达·盖茨基金会(Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)或世界卫生组织这样的重要卫生组织就很有可能参与生产或分发。如果是这样的话,多年来一直在讨伐这些组织的反疫苗活动者将会有大量的材料储备,试图败坏这些组织的名声。他们已经在用毫无根据的阴谋论来攻击盖茨,声称是他创造了病毒,并试图从中获利。这些阴谋论将被放大,随着疫苗临近,将会有更激烈的活动,试图破坏顶尖病毒研究成果的名誉。

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,如果一种新冠病毒疫苗被批准广泛使用,一些航空公司、学校或营业场所可能要求人们接种疫苗才能进入。就公众健康而言,这是个好主意,但它会给反疫苗运动一些最严重的担忧带来口实。

纽约时报双语版-如果有了新冠疫苗,但美国人拒绝接种怎么办?

本月在加州亨廷顿海滩举行的一场抗议活动,反对因疫情而下令关闭海滩。
Etienne Laurent/EPA, via Shutterstock

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.

反疫苗活动者一直将强制疫苗接种作为一个特别有说服力的论点,其中一些人将自己的观点重新包装为疫苗问题上的“支持选择”。多年来,各州和学区在强制接种疫苗政策上的斗争,为他们提供了一套制造法律障碍和诋毁宣传活动的攻略。

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.

我想知道我对疫苗信息战的担忧是否有道理,于是联系了乔治·华盛顿大学(George Washington University)的两位研究员——尼尔·约翰逊(Neil Johnson)和里斯·莱希(Rhys Leahy),他们对网上反疫苗运动的研究于周三发表在科学杂志《自然》(Nature)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.

该研究追溯了2019年麻疹爆发期间Facebook上关于疫苗的对话,发现活跃的反疫苗团体几乎是支持疫苗团体的三倍。此外,他们发现,虽然支持疫苗的页面往往有更多关注者,但反对疫苗的页面增长更快。

“We expected to find a strong core of ‘vanilla’ science — people saying that vaccines are good for you — but that’s not what we found at all,” Mr. Johnson told me. “We found a real struggle online, where the public health establishment and its supporters are almost fighting in the wrong place.”

“我们以为会看到‘普通的’科学有一个强有力的核心——人们会说疫苗对你有好处——但我们发现的根本不是这样,”约翰逊告诉我。“我们在网上发现了一场真正的斗争,公共卫生机构及其支持者几乎是在一个错误的战场上战斗。”

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.

研究人员发现,在Facebook上宣传支持疫苗正确信息的页面大多集中在一个孤立的群体里;而反对疫苗的页面则把对抗疫苗当作一种政治运动,并且使用不同的讯息,以便接触尚未做出决定的不同类型“选民”。一个提倡整体健康疗法的页面可能会在自由派瑜伽妈妈当中散播对疫苗的怀疑,而一个提倡抵制政府强制接种的页面可能会吸引保守派和自由意志论者。

“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.”

“公共卫生倡导组织往往是单一的,只传递一个信息,”即疫苗是安全有效的,莱希说。“而反疫苗运动真的很多样化。”

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.

我们有理由抱有希望。最近的调查显示,如果今天就有新冠疫苗,大多数美国人都会去接种。即使是过去曾对疫苗表示怀疑的政治人士,包括特朗普总统,也在支持一种可以预防这种疾病的疫苗。我采访过的一些公共卫生专家说,公众要求结束大流行并恢复正常生活的压力可能会压倒反疫苗行动。

“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.”

“人们看到了新冠病毒的全面危害,”哈佛大学公共卫生学院健康传播教授卡西索马亚朱拉·维斯瓦纳特(Kasisomayajula Viswanath)说。“我想,如果有一种成功的疫苗,特别是在缺乏治疗办法的情况下,人们可能就不去理会反疫苗群体了。”

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.

但公众对新型冠状病毒疫苗的接受程度还远未确定。看到Facebook和YouTube这样的平台难以遏制《瘟疫大计划》这种视频的传播,让我担心,到了需要说服数十亿人接受重要的冠状病毒疫苗时,我们的公共卫生官员和社会媒体公司会敌不过一个高效运行、已经用错误信息和阴谋论污染了空气的反疫苗运动。

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.

我们可以防止这种情况发生,但前提是我们必须在为时已晚之前开始打好基础。美国疾病控制与预防中心和世界卫生组织等组织需要了解网上反疫苗群体的动态,并开始发起一场全身心投入的运动,在开发疫苗的同时恢复人们对医疗机构的信心。社交媒体公司需要认真对待与疫苗相关的虚假信息的威胁,并投入大量资源来阻止其传播。而我们这些相信疫苗的人需要认识到,我们的多数地位持续不了太久,并且尽我们所能去触及自己生活中可能容易受到反疫苗宣传影响的人。

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, with all the creativity and urgency of the scientists who are developing the vaccine itself. 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.

为了从这场大流行中恢复过来,我们需要动员一场支持疫苗的运动,这场运动要像反疫苗运动的追随者那样专注、精通互联网而又引人注目。我们需要以科学家的创造力和开发疫苗本身的紧迫感,迅速完成这项工作。成百上千万人的生命和数万亿美元的经济活动可能不仅取决于生产疫苗,还取决于说服人们接受疫苗。

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