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Journal of Human Growth and Development

versión impresa ISSN 0104-1282versión On-line ISSN 2175-3598

J. Hum. Growth Dev. vol.31 no.2 Santo André mayo/ago 2021 



The effect of negationism on public health



Vitor E. ValentiI, III; Alan Patricio da SilvaII

IPrograma de Pós-graduação, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, UNESP, Presidente Prudente, SP, Brasil
IILaboratório de Delineamento de Estudos e Escrita Científica. Centro Universitário FMABC, Santo André, SP, Brasil
IIICentro de Estudos do Sistema Nervoso Autônomo (CESNA), UNESP, Marilia, SP, Brazil





Negacionism refers to the choice to deny a scientifically proven reality, which can reduce life expectancy and quality of life. Within this context, the uncontrolled trajectory of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brazil has generated great concern due to the lack of consensus on how to manage the pandemic in a scenario of denial of the seriousness of the disease by the government, since on August 2nd, 2021, there are 556,437 Brazilians killed due to the disease. The denial of COVID-19 and the immunizing agent is another pandemic and turns the current scenario into a syndemic.

Keywords: negacionism, COVID-19, vaccine



The meaning of negacionism is the choice to deny a scientifically proven reality1. This concept, applied to the community, can be harmless and serve as anecdotes, as is the case of the hypotheses that consider earthworks. Even with several very well-developed scientific evidence since the time of Galileo and with daily NASA images released around the world2, there is a group that denies this fact and seeks to contest the non-flat shape of the Earth.

On the other hand, negacionism can also reduce life expectancy and quality of life. Within this context, the uncontrolled trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil has generated great concern due to the lack of consensus on the management of the pandemic in a scenario of denial of the seriousness of the disease by the government.

Pharmacological compounds have been considered miraculous against SARS-CoV-2, including hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. These compounds have been proposed in view of their antiviral effects in certain situations against other virus species. However, clinical trials with a very strong level of evidence showed that these drugs have no effect on the symptoms of the disease, in addition to not improving essential parameters such as mortality and length of stay3-5.

Despite these results being widely publicized, a large portion of the population, including health professionals, continue to believe in the treatment of COVID-19 with these pharmacological compounds.

Another worrying condition is the growth of the anti-vaccine movement6, especially with vaccines against COVID-19. An idea was created that vaccine methods that use messenger RNA and viral vector were developed in less than a year with the intention of alarming the population that these vaccines would not be safe. Both vaccine platforms mentioned have been researched for some years7-10. In addition, clinical trials carried out with these vaccines have shown safety, efficacy and the results recommend their application based on the risk/benefit ratio.

Denying proven facts is harmful to public health, as it negatively impacts disease control. Therefore, a healthy, coherent, and respectful relationship between scientists, educators, press, population, and government entities is essential for the extinction of denial.

As highlighted by Abreu11, place of residence, socioeconomic status, discrimination, and inequality within and between countries contribute to early mortality and significant morbidities, particularly in environments with limited resources, especially in families that are in a situation of vulnerability. It is everyone's duty to make efforts not to miss out on opportunities to fill the inequality gap. Public health decision-making is critical to ensuring that no one is left behind.

In this line, Journal of Human Growth and Development brings articles12-28 that contribute to the development of science, full knowledge of public health and evidence in the scientific field to corroborate scientific practice and its full application in modern society.



1.Vineis P. Negationism: global warming and other skeptics. Epidemiol Prev. 2012; 36(3-4):215-6.         [ Links ]

2.National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA. 2021.        [ Links ]

3.Maisonnasse P, Guedj J, Contreras V, Behillil S, Solas C, Marlin R, Naninck T, Pizzorno A, Lemaitre J, Gonçalves A, Kahlaoui N, Terrier O, Fang RHT, Enouf V, Dereuddre-Bosquet N, Brisebarre A, Touret F, Chapon C, Hoen B, Lina B, Calatrava MR, van der Werf S, de Lamballerie X, Le Grand R. Hydroxychloroquine use against SARS-CoV-2 infection in non-human primates Nature. 2020 Sep;585(7826):584-587. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-2558-4        [ Links ]

4.Graham F, Castelvecchi D, Phillips N. Daily briefing: The evidence is not stacking up for hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. Nature. 2020 Apr 7. doi: 10.1038/d41586-020-01053-w.         [ Links ]

5.Rosenberg ES, Dufort EM, Udo T, Wilberschied LA, Kumar J, Tesoriero J, Weinberg P, Kirkwood J, Muse A, DeHovitz J, Blog DS, Hutton B, Holtgrave DR, Zucker HA. Association of Treatment With Hydroxychloroquine or Azithromycin With In-Hospital Mortality in Patients With COVID-19 in New York State. JAMA. 2020 Jun 23;323(24):2493-2502. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.8630.         [ Links ]

6.Herrera-Peco I, Jiménez-Gómez B, Romero Magdalena CS, Deudero JJ, García-Puente M, Benítez De Gracia E, Ruiz Núñez C. Antivaccine Movement and COVID-19 Negationism: A Content Analysis of Spanish-Written Messages on Twitter. Vaccines (Basel). 2021 Jun 15;9(6):656. doi: 10.3390/vaccines9060656.         [ Links ]

7.Chakraborty C, Sharma AR, Bhattacharya M, Lee SS. From COVID-19 to Cancer mRNA Vaccines: Moving From Bench to Clinic in the Vaccine Landscape. Front Immunol. 2021 Jul 7;12:679344. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.679344.         [ Links ]

8.Ndwandwe D, Wiysonge CS. COVID-19 vaccines. Curr Opin Immunol. 2021 Jul 12;71:111-116. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2021.07.003.         [ Links ]

9.Skowronski DM, Serres G. Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine. N Engl J Med. 2021 Apr 22;384(16):1576-1577. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2036242.         [ Links ]

10.Madhi SA et al. Efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Covid-19 Vaccine against the B.1.351 Variant. N Engl J Med. 2021 May 20;384(20):1885-1898. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2102214.         [ Links ]

11.Abreu LC. The path of humanity in the pandemic of COVID-19: the choice of the realistic, optimist or pessimist scenario. J. Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(1):05-08. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.11683        [ Links ]

12.Costa KSF, Ribeiro LM, de Jesus JAL, Costa KN, Fernandes GM, Spilski J, Lachmann T, Tristão RM. Olfactory sensory evaluation in newborn children of women infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):000-000. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.11341        [ Links ]

13.Beliche TWO , Hamu TCDS, Bizinotto T, Porto CC, Formiga CKMR. The postural control of Brazilian children aged 6 to 9 years using a smartphone is similar to their posture with eyes closed. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):199-208. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12229        [ Links ]

14.Bezerra RA, Oliveira GTA, Bagni UV, Barbalho ER, da Rocha IMG, de Araújo FR, Fayh APT. Sedentary Behavior and Physical Activity of Schoolchildren from a Low-income Region in Brazil: Associations with Maternal Variables. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):209-216. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12230        [ Links ]

15.Mota GAO, Shimizu GY, Lahoz ALC, Nicolau CM, Paula LCS, Maristela TCunha MT, Tanaka C. Motor performance evaluation of newborns with gastroschisis after surgical correction. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):217-223. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12225        [ Links ]

16.Monhol PP, Jastrow JMB, Soares YN, Cunha NCP, Pianissola MC, Ribeiro LZ, Santos JA, Bezerra IMP. Children with autistic spectrum disorder: perception and experience of families. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):224-235. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12224        [ Links ]

17.Garcia AL, Emerich TB, Salaroli LB, Neto ETS. Health promotion concepts and the stress exposed in print media. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):236-246. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12231        [ Links ]

18.Valero C, Mustacchi Z, Bezerra PM, Figueiredo FES, Martinelli PM, Carvalho AAS, Feder D. Foot rotation asymmetry in Down syndrome and the relationship with crawling and walking onset: a cross-sectional study. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):247-256. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.11279        [ Links ] Oliveira FM, Marques DCS, Coelho AA, Marques MGS, Araújo CGA, Branco BHM. Effects of a multiprofessional approach on anthropometric variables and food profile of overweight or obese adolescents J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(1):257-266. DOI:10.36311/jhgd.v31.10185        [ Links ]

20.Carmo SH, Paiva LS, Adami F, Leitão FNC, Rebouças CMP, Valenti VE, Raimundo RD. Relationship between motor-cognitive functions and hemodynamic response of individuals with chronic stroke during and after an acute bout of aerobic exercise. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):267-282. DOI:10.36311/jhgd.v31.12223        [ Links ]

21.Castanha CSC, Tavares LFB, Leone C, Paiva LS, Daboin BEG, Marques NSF, Zangirolami-Raimundo J, Raimundo RD. Basic life support education: the impact of lecture-demonstration in undergraduate students of health sciences. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):283-290. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.11509        [ Links ]

22.Rodrigues MC, Silva Maciel ES, Quaresma FRP, Sesti LFC, Paiva LS, Junior HM, de Araújo FA, Fonseca FLA, Adami F. Prevalence and factors associated with metabolic syndrome in a vulnerable population in northern Brazil: a crosssectional study. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):291-301. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.11410        [ Links ]

23.Mota AN, Maciel ES, Quaresma FRP, de Araújo FA, Sousa LVA, Junior HM, Fonseca FLA, Adami F. A look at vulnerability: analysis of the lack of access to health care for quilombolas in Brazil. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):302-309. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.11404        [ Links ]

24.Alcantara SSA, Martinelli PM, Sousa LVA, Fonseca FLA. Epidemiological Profile Of Prostate Cancer Mortality And Access To Hospital Care In Brazilian Regions - An Ecological Study. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):310-317. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12227        [ Links ]

25.Nascimento OR, Pereira GAV, Morais MJD, Feitosa ANA, Campos MF, Rodrigues LMR. Surgery associated with radiotherapy in patients affected by metastatic medular compression: scientific production of the health area. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):318-335. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12226        [ Links ]

26.Costa AVF, Bezerra LC, Paula JA. Use of psychotropic drugs in the treatment of fibromyalgia: a systematic review. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):336-345. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12228        [ Links ]

27.Alves SAA, Bezerra IMP, Albuquerque GA, Cavalcante EGR, Eleodora J, Lopes MSV. Sustainable practices as actions to promote adolescent health. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):346-357. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.10580        [ Links ]

28.Monteiro MFG, Romio JAF, Drezett J. Is there race/color differential on femicide in Brazil? The inequality of mortality rates for violent causes among white and black women. J Hum Growth Dev. 2021; 31(2):358-366. DOI: 10.36311/jhgd.v31.12257        [ Links ]



Vitor E. Valenti

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