How to Soften Up the Public for the Covid-19 Vaccines–Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security Brochure

An interesting cast of characters signed off on these guidelines for convincing the public to accept entirely new, questionable vaccines. The group includes Drs. Greg Poland, who led the fight to impose universal flu vaccine recommendations (and many state mandates) and Luciana Borio, a physician, fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Vice President at In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s “venture capital” firm. 

Of course, the group’s first admonishment is to give people like themselves money to study the most effective forms of manipulation.

But, until then, they still offer lots of good ideas for how to manipulate the public to be vaccinated.  They know it won’t be easy.  I have excerpted a variety of their “gems” below:

Conceived as a biotechnology and logistics challenge, COVID-19 vaccination is equally
complex in terms of human factors. “If we build it, they will come” is a naïve presupposition
about humans and vaccines. In 2010, for instance, many Americans rejected the H1N1 influenza
pandemic vaccine because of perceived safety concerns—despite the fact that the vaccine involved
only a strain change (ie, it was not a new technology) and the vaccine had been fully tested before
release. (Fully? It missed the eventual 1300 + narcolepsy cases–Nass). 

In contrast to the H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine, SARS-CoV-2 vaccines will be novel products,
and when they are initially offered to the public, safety data may be limited to tens of thousands
of vaccinated individuals, rather than larger numbers in which more rare adverse effects could be
detected. In addition, the H1N1 vaccine amplified health disparities as well as feelings of racial
bias. In Los Angeles, for example, distrust in the government resulting from prior experimentation
on Black men and women led Black faith-based leaders, radio personalities, and other community
leaders to advise local Black community members to avoid vaccination…

There is a risk that projections about vaccine development are overly optimistic and
may set up unrealistic public expectations and mistrust around vaccine safety and

Emphasis on the unprecedented speed with which vaccines are being developed has
inadvertently prompted safety concerns…

Underestimation of COVID-19’s risk, fostered by an inconsistent government response,
dampens public willingness to implement protective measures…

Temper expectations of a vaccine as a “quick fix…”

Early on, seek the counsel and input of communities who have historic reluctance
toward novel vaccines and understandable fears of being “experimented on…”

In advance of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine rollout, federal health agencies should
develop a coordinated national strategy to promote vaccination, employing
human-centered design to develop interventions that help a broad network
of champions communicate effectively with the public about risks, benefits,
allocation and targeting, and availability…

The CDC, with the support of Congress, should fund state and local health
departments, via the Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants, to form
partnerships with grassroots-level organizations
and stakeholders to promote vaccination…

OWS, HHS, CDC, and state and local health officials should develop operational
systems that involve nontraditional civilian partners and instill public
confidence that vaccine distribution is evenhanded. Involving civil rights groups
and health advocacy organizations,
including the NAACP, the National Urban League, the
League of United Latin American Citizens, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education
Fund, the National Disability Rights Network, the American Association of Retired Persons,
the National Immigration Project, Unidos, Partnership with Native Americans, the Rural
Community Assistance Partnership, the National Rural Health Association, Doctors Without
Borders, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, can bolster the equitable
delivery of vaccines and instill public trust in the vaccination process…  (This is probably a list of organizations that CDC has already bought off, so pay attention to pronouncements from these organizations–Nass.)

Utilize nontraditional vaccination sites like schools, pharmacies, workplaces, grocery
stores, health departments, mass vaccination clinics, faith centers, barber shops,
senior centers, dental offices, home visits, and others… (They have already figured out that family physicians are likely to warn their patients about rapidly rolled out, novel vaccines with inadequate safety testing–so the plan is to bypass physicians as much as possible during the vaccine rollout–Nass.)

Identifying a network of trusted spokespeople will be essential
for an effective communication campaign around future COVID-19 vaccines. To motivate people
to take protective actions like vaccination requires that they hear a salient and specific message
repeatedly, delivered by multiple trusted messengers and via diverse media channels. Effective
public health and safety communication involves a repetitive streaming of personally compelling information…

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