Articles on Vaccine refusers

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People reject science such as that about climate change and vaccines, but readily believe scientists about solar eclipses, like this one reflected on the sunglasses of a man dangerously watching in Nicosia, Cyprus, in a 2015 file photo. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Eclipse of reason: Why do people disbelieve scientists?

People universally believe scientists' solar eclipse calendars, but vaccine warnings or climate predictions are forms of science that strangely do not enjoy equivalent acceptance.
Edward Jenner, who pioneered vaccination, and two colleagues (right) seeing off three anti-vaccination opponents, with the dead lying at their feet (1808). I Cruikshank/Wellcome Images/Wikimedia Commons

A short history of vaccine objection, vaccine cults and conspiracy theories

Some people have objected to childhood vaccination since it was introduced in the late 1700s. And their reasons sound remarkably familiar to those of anti-vaxxers today.
One Nation senator Pauline Hanson told Insiders: ‘You can have a test on your child first’ before vaccinating. AAP/Richard Wainwright

Is there a test your child can take before getting vaccinated, as Pauline Hanson said?

Speaking on the ABC program Insiders, One Nation leader Pauline Hanson suggested there are tests available to see if children will have an adverse reaction to vaccinations. We asked three experts.
A nurse administers the HPV vaccine in Dallas, Texas in 2007. Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

Stories of vaccine-related harms are influential, even when people don’t believe them

Individual stories of perceived vaccine harms can undermine trust in vaccine safety, even if people don't believe the vaccine was to blame.
Exposing people to weak forms of anti-science arguments can help them respond when they are hit by the real thing. NIAID/Flickr

Inoculating against science denial

A small dose of a weak form of anti-science can inoculate people against the real thing, just like a vaccine.
The emotional appeals of the opposing views on vaccination are both driven by concern for children. World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr

‘No jab, no pay’ policy has a serious ethical sting

The plan to withhold payments of child-care and family tax benefits for unvaccinated children could cost non-compliant parents up to A$15,000 a year. But is it ethical to punish parents?
Studies have shown that mentioning misinformation – even in the process of combating it – can cause it to stick in listeners’ minds. from www.shutterstock.com

The media fuels vaccination myths – by trying to correct them

Studies show that the more familiar we become with false information, the more likely we are to later remember it as fact.
Do more non-medical vaccine exemptions mean a higher incidence of disease? luminaimages/Shutterstock

Why Mississippi hasn’t had measles in over two decades

As of January 30, 102 people in 14 states were reported to have measles, and most of these cases are tied to the outbreak that began at Disneyland in December. Public health officials are citing an increase…
A new oral drug could help reduce the spread of measles. Destinys Agent/Flickr

Scientists hold hope for new measles drug

A new oral antiviral drug may be a future tool in the global fight against measles, according to a new international study…
Any action taken at the community level should start with acknowledging that parents want the best for their children. Bridget Coila/Flickr

Why do people not vaccinate?

The National Health Performance Authority’s report on childhood vaccination coverage released this morning shows immunisation rates have slightly increased in 2011-2012. But there are still some areas…
A little bit of pain is a worthwhile price for child health and community well-being. Sarah Gilbert

Vaccinations are a vital part of ethical ‘alternative’ lifestyles

Often cited as one of the most important medical breakthroughs in human history, immunisation has been a hallmark of public health interventions for more than 200 years. Globally, an estimated 2.5 million…

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