In DepthSCIENCE AND SOCIETY

France turns to citizens' panel to reduce vaccine skepticism

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Science  19 Feb 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6531, pp. 763-764
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6531.763

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Summary

All across Europe, coronavirus vaccines are in scarce supply. But in France, they are also surprisingly unwanted: Recent polls suggest just 57% of the country intends to get vaccinated, whereas in the United Kingdom, 89% wants to get a shot for COVID-19. With persistent, world-leading rates of vaccine skepticism, France is adopting a new tactic to boost trust. A 35-member citizens' vaccine panel, built from a random but demographically representative slice of the country, met for the first time last month in an effort to steer government strategy on COVID-19 vaccinations. The panel is the latest in a surge of citizen assemblies that have been set up across Europe to grapple with thorny questions at the intersection of science and society.

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