Vaccine Hesitancy Named Threat to Global Health
05 Feb 2019
Science tells us that when you tell someone they’re wrong, they’re more likely to dig in than to experience a change of heart. Take the case of childhood immunizations. As long as there have been vaccines, a portion of the population has been opposed to them, with some well-meaning, but misinformed, parents refusing to get the recommended shots for their kids.
But in this age of distrust and fear — of “fake news” and nearly universal access to the internet, which can back up any “alternative facts” — this population appears to be growing and becoming more dangerous to public health.
Just watch the (reputable) news: Measles is making a disturbing resurgence, with Washington state and New York experiencing the worst outbreaks in decades (there are nearly 50 confirmed cases in Washington and more than 200 in New York). Brazil had more than 10,000 cases of measles last year; Europe, nearly 60,000. And that’s just one vaccine-preventable disease.
Have vaccines become victims of their own success? Have we forgotten how many people used to become sick and die from these diseases? …