Lesson 2 Anti-Vaccination movement

  • Immunization practices took place all over the world before the development of vaccines
  • Immunization practices also sparked controversies among the population
  • Throughout the centuries some claim that vaccines either harm or violate their personal, political or religious rights
  • The first appearance of antivaccination sentiments dates back to the 18th century
  • In the 1790s Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine. It replaced other immunization practices as it enhanced immunity in a safer and more effective way
  • The Vaccination Act was passed in Britain and as a response the Anti-Vaccination League was created
  • The smallpox vaccine was made compulsory for children under 14 years old. In response, the Anti-compulsory League was formed.
  • At the same time anti-vaccination movements rapidly formed in the US as well.
  • Development of several vaccines such as rabies, toxoid, diptheria, pertussis polio, measles, mumps, rubella
  • The antivaccination movement held the same beliefs for the above vaccines as well
  • a study was published expressing that over the course of 11 years, 36 children developed neurological complications 24 hours after they received diptheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine. Later on, it was found that the researchers did not follow up with the children
  • However, the study caused a wave of protests and sparked further controversy leading a decrease pertussis vaccinations. As a result, a pertussis outbreak took place
  • Celebrities supported anti-vaccination movements and enhanced their support
  • Various cinema and TV figures presented themselves as experts without having any medical background or knowledge
  • accusations rose in regard to the DTaP and hepatitis B vaccines. The DTaP was linked to childhood disabilities while both vaccines were linked to DTaP and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • it was claimed that the rubella, measles and mumps vaccines were linked to neurological conditions in children such as autism.
  • It was found that the claims of the study were false however several people still believe this claims.

Even to this century there is a lot of misinformation and inconclusive evidence about vaccinations.

Social media help even more the anti-vaccination movement since they can target their audience directly