This project seeks to increase public confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine. By harnessing the power of data science and artificial intelligence, it will develop evidence-based public messaging that encourages vaccination, in partnership with local public health departments.
Nearly a year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, we have reached a critical moment where several vaccines have been approved for use, and the possibility of curbing the spread of the virus is within reach if enough individuals are vaccinated. Over the past two decades, an increasing proportion of the population has come to view vaccines with skepticism, and in many cases, refrained from getting vaccinated altogether. While the procedural, behavioral and access barriers to vaccine uptake have been studied extensively, the emotional, ideological and rhetorical bases for vaccine hesitancy are poorly understood. This limited understanding, combined with public distrust in science and government, is likely to undermine efforts to robustly and quickly vaccinate against COVID-19.
The project will engage literary scholars, medical professionals, data scientists, political scientists, community leaders and public health officials. It will create the world’s largest public dataset of vaccine-hesitant language in English, collected from online forums such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, which have become primary platforms for discussing and disseminating vaccine skepticism and other vaccine-related concerns. Leveraging the power of such collected data, the project will use artificial intelligence to develop public messaging that reflects the ways in which people express specific forms of hesitancy. This approach represents a significant effort to use AI to analyze the language of vaccine hesitancy and then use that language to combat vaccine skepticism.
In Partnership With:
The State of Maine
Ulster County, State of New York
Noémie ElhadadColumbia UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Dr. Noémie Elhadad is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics, affiliated with Computer Science and the Data Science Institute at Columbia University.
Rishi K. GoyalColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Rishi Goyal is Director, Medical Humanities Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center (in Medical Humanities and Ethics and the Institute for...
Arden HegeleColumbia UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Arden Hegele, PhD, is a Medical Humanities Fellow and literary scholar at Columbia University. She teaches on the Morningside campus in the Department of English and Comparative Literature...
Kathleen R. McKeownColumbia UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Kathleen R. McKeown is the Henry and Gertrude Rothschild Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and the Founding Director of the Data Science Institute, serving as Director...
Sarah MonksColumbia UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Sarah Monks is Assistant Director of the Institute for Comparative Literature & Society, Columbia University. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Psychology and Sociology.
Moacir P. de Sa PereiraColumbia UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Moacir P. de Sá Pereira (he/him/his) is the Research Data Librarian at Columbia University Libraries. A scholar of literature and space, he taught at New York University, Vilnius Gediminas...
Melissa StockwellColumbia UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Dr. Stockwell is Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Health and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons) and Population and Family Health...
Prerna SinghBrown UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Prerna Singh is Mahatma Gandhi Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University with appointments in the Department of Behavioral and Social...
Dennis Yi TenenColumbia UniversityProject LeadRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Dennis Yi Tenen is an associate professor of English Literature, Digital Humanities, and New Media Studies at Columbia University. A long-time affiliate of Columbia’s Data Science Institute...
Jeremiah Trinidad-ChristensenColumbia UniversityProject TeamRead Full Bio arrow_right_alt
Jeremiah Trinidad-Christensen (he/him/his) is the Head of the Research Data Services at Columbia University Libraries. Prior to this he was the GIS Librarian, where he was hired to create...