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  1. Covid19 no vaccinations campaign earrings, UK 🇬🇧

    While some are doubling down on their rejection of vaccines, the scale of the Covid-19 crisis is eroding resistance in others

    The coronavirus pandemic may be prompting some anti-vaxxers to question their views, experts say, but others are doubling down – and vaccine hesitancy, amplified by some celebrities, could seriously undermine a future inoculation programme.

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 70 candidate coronavirus vaccines are being developed, with three already in clinical evaluation. The world’s small but vocal anti-vaccination community seems divided on how to respond.

    “The extremists, the belief-driven groups who reject vaccination on principle, whose aim is to disrupt and polarise, they’re not changing, in fact they’re capitalising,” said Heidi Larson, director of the London-based Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP).

    Some high-profile personalities with big social media followings have also expressed scepticism. Novak Djokovic, the world No 1 tennis player, suggested on Facebook that his opposition to vaccines might prevent his return to the sport, saying he “wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine” to travel.

    The outspoken British rapper M.I.A. also drew widespread criticism for tweeting: “If I have to choose the vaccine or chip I’m gonna choose death”, while the Australian actor Isabel Lucas was dropped as ambassador for a girls’ charity after saying she did not “trust the path of vaccination”.

    However, Larson said there was also evidence that people who were “less sure for some reason, who maybe have issues with just one particular vaccine – the MMR jab for their children, for example – may behave differently in the context of this pandemic”.

    The VCP has launched an 18-month study with local partners around the globe, conducting national polls and examining online conversations about the coronavirus to try to measure attitudes towards a future vaccine.

    Larson said that after analysing more than 3m social media posts a day between January and March, she was confident the vast majority of people were “eager for a coronavirus vaccine, and as soon as possible”.

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/21/anti-vaccination-community-divided-how-respond-to-coronavirus-pandemic

    Elsewhere, however, the pandemic appears to have hardened anti-vaxxer attitudes. In the US, prominent figures in the movement have seized on Covid-19 to reinforce their arguments and push conspiracy theories.

    Del Bigtree, the producer of Vaxxed, the 2016 “documentary” written by Wakefield, has put together an hour-long presentation – still available on Facebook and YouTube – that argues that Covid-19 is a set-up by the pharmaceutical industry to enrich itself.

    Robert Kennedy Jr, the son of the assassinated Democratic leader, accused Bill Gates and top public health officials on Twitter of plotting to produce a vaccine with “unique and frightening dangers”.

    Scott Ratzan, of the City University of New York’s school of public health, said he was alarmed by the results of a poll in New York City showing that only 53% of residents were sure to take a coronavirus vaccine and 29% would refuse.

    “What if large numbers of people decide not to vaccinate themselves or their children?” Ratzan said. “Right now, barely half of New Yorkers tell us they’ll do that. If that is the case, we won’t be able to protect our community against a new wave.”

    Larson said the timing of the vaccine’s release, forecast for some time in 2021, could be critical, with many likely to be deterred by any suggestion it might have had been rushed and not properly tested.

    On balance, Larson said, she was not convinced the coronavirus would have a direct impact on anti-vaccination sentiment. But she did foresee a possible indirect impact, with coronavirus fears leading to the delay of measles vaccinations in 24 countries and their cancellation in 13 others, prompting concern from both the WHO and Unicef.

    If vaccine hesitance does decrease after the Covid-19 crisis, Larson said, it would likely be as a result of “outbreaks of other diseases such as measles increasing because parents are afraid to take their infants to health centres during the pandemic”.

  2. Coronavirus and Corona beer 🍺 news, Covid19

    New York (CNN Business) Corona beer isn't making any changes to its advertising despite the name's unfortunate similarity to the deadly coronavirus. 

    Constellation Brands (STZ), which brews several variations of the popular lager, said in a statement that its customers "understand there is no link between the virus and our business." 

    "Sales of Corona remain very strong and we appreciate the continued support from our fans," Constellation Brands spokesperson Stephanie McGuane told CNN Business. "Our advertising with Corona is consistent with the campaign we have been running for the last 30 years and is based off strong consumer sentiment."

    Constellation said Corona Extra sales grew 5% in the United States in the four-weeks that ended February 16. That's nearly double the trend of the past 52 weeks. Corona's sales are heavily dependent on the US market, unlike some of its far-more-international rivals.

    "Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this terrible virus and we hope efforts to more fully contain it gain traction soon," said Bill Newlands, CEO of Constellation Brands, in a statement. "We've seen no impact to our people, facilities or operations and our business continues to perform very well."

    Yet the spread of the coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time for Constellation, which is spending $40 million to launch its new Corona-branded hard seltzer. Part of the promotion includes a sponsored tweet that has sparked criticism for using the phrase "coming ashore soon." 

    Replies to the tweet say the ad is in "poor taste" and that the brand should "lay low for a few weeks."

    Two surveys released this week show that the Corona's brand is suffering from negative buzz. 

    5W Public Relations said that 38% of Americans wouldn't buy Corona "under any circumstances" because of the outbreak, and another 14% said they wouldn't order a Corona in public. The survey encompasses polling from 737 beer drinkers in the United States.

    In another survey conducted by YouGov, the firm found consumers' intent to purchase Corona fell to its lowest level in two years. The survey also showed that Corona's buzz score, a metric that that measures favorability, has dropped significantly since the beginning of the year.

    Constellation's Newlands said those reports do not reflect the company's business performance, calling the "misinformation" about the virus' impact on Corona's business "extremely unfortunate."

    Online searches for "corona beer virus" spiked in early February, but have since declined. 

    Constellation Brands' stock dropped 4% on Friday and 8% on Thursday, although the entire stock market has fallen sharply as fear grows about the spread of coronavirus. The number of cases have climbed to 83,577 globally Friday. Nearly 3,000 people have died from the virus.

    Read on CNN- https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/28/business/corona-beer-marketing/index.html