Articles on anti-vaxxers

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Measles is contagious three or four days before a rash appears on the skin, making it highly communicable. (Shutterstock)

Why parents should fear measles, not the vaccine

Seven to 10 days in bed with a high fever and rash is the best outcome you can expect if your child catches measles. Brain damage or death is the worst.
Two women sell roadside refreshments in rural Kano in 2011. Shobana Shankar

What the US could learn about vaccination from Nigeria

Nigeria’s highly mobilized efforts to eliminate polio, and even tackle measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases along the way, may have lessons for the US.
Terry Roark holds a photo of her son, Thomas, at the state Capitol in Sacramento, California, April 24, 2019, to voice opposition to a bill that would allow state health officials more say in vaccine exemptions. Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

What’s wrong with those anti-vaxxers? They’re just like the rest of us

As measles cases surge, people blame parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. A sociologist who has studied public health says anti-vaxxers may not be so different from the rest of us.
A sign at a clinic in Vancouver, Washington on Jan. 25, 2019 asks unvaccinated children 12 and younger to leave the facility. Gillian Flaccus/AP Photos

Measles: Why it’s so deadly, and why vaccination is so vital

A measles outbreak is causing major concern in a Washington county where only 22 percent of children are vaccinated against the disease. A vaccine expert explains the risks.
Many parents object to vaccination for religious reasons, while others may file for exemptions for convenience. Africa Studios/Shutterstock.com

A proposal to reduce vaccine exemptions while respecting rights of conscience

Recent measles outbreaks show the dangers of not vaccinating – and the importance of vaccination. Is there a way to accommodate those religiously opposed to vaccination and minimize other exemptions?
Californians in June 2015 protest a bill that did away with personal belief exemptions for vaccinating children before they enter school. Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

Countering misinformation about flu vaccine is harder than it seems

Vaccination rates for children in some parts of California are down, despite a law that narrowed exemptions. Here's a look at why people refuse to listen to evidence when it comes to the flu vaccine.
Vaccinations have saved countless lives and untold suffering, even though many adults still believe vaccines are bad for their children. Africa Studios/Shutterstock.com

Why vaccine opponents think they know more than medical experts

Vaccines have long been considered safe, but many people still believe they are not. A new study shows that people who think they know more than medical experts are more likely to believe that vaccine are not safe.
Complementary medicine practitioners could prove to be a valuable source of information about vaccinations. Stutterstock

How complementary medicine practitioners can help get kids vaccinated

Australian parents who visit complementary health practitioners are less likely to vaccinate their kids. But could these practitioners be best placed to educate sceptical parents about vaccination?
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.
Dozens of studies and numerous reviews have demonstrated the safety of vaccines. (Shutterstock)

Public health at risk when opinion trumps evidence

In an era when opinion often trumps evidence in public health issues, it's time to support and invest in evidence-based medicine to protect the public from dangerous, poorly informed beliefs.
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.

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