Much of the contemporary media narrative surrounding COVID-19 is focused on the idea of vaccines providing the light at the end of the tunnel. Recent trials from Moderna and Pfizer have yielded promising results of vaccinations against COVID-19 that are over 90% effective. Countless Americans see a vaccine as the only solution to the current crisis, and the only hope for a return to normalcy. With the development of coronavirus vaccines smashing speed records, the vaccine is a quintessential “magic bullet,” with cutting edge technologies and vast monetary resources being applied to ensure faster development.

But it is this very nature of vaccines being a magic bullet, created with new technologies and a rapid development pace, that have vaccine choice groups concerned. Members of these groups are worried about how safety can be ensured with such a short development time. Medical experts say that the highest standards of safety are being followed for vaccine development. Still, only time will tell if the vaccines are truly safe.

Facebook groups against vaccines and advocating for medical freedom of choice have existed for years and been studied by scholars. COVID-19 offers us a unique chance to explore more about these groups. How are they responding to this crisis? How does mainstream media coverage differ from the news presented in these groups? Where did these groups come from and have they ever been as pervasive and influential as they are now? How might they impact the response to this crisis?

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Project Team!

From upper left to lower right: Vinh Ton, Ilya Yatsishin, Mary Davis, and Arianne Smith

Project bibliography has been included in our Sutori Timeline.