Blaise Dondji (Biomedical Science Specialization), Allyson Rogan-Klyve (Science Education)
Vaccinations are one of the most important and successful innovations in the history of scientific research. They have been promoted throughout recent medical history as a readily available and low-risk prevention method against various diseases, and they have been researched and developed extensively over the past century. Although the use of vaccinations has proven to exhibit widespread lifesaving results, their celebrated and renowned status in the field of public health is not without controversy. There has been a growing number of people that oppose the use and administration of vaccinations, who society collectively refers to as members of the “anti-vaxxer” movement. The anti-vaxxer movement is deep rooted in American society, and as states have passed laws requiring public school students to receive vaccinations, opposition to these laws has inevitably grown due to the spread of misinformation among the general public. This should be a great cause for concern in regards to public health, and in order to promote vaccines as the lifesaving innovation that they are, it is necessary to thoroughly understand the facts about vaccines and simultaneously debunk any misinformation that has made its way into public discourse. This paper explores the origins of the anti-vaxxer movement, debunks common myths and misinformation spread about vaccines, stresses the consequences of decreased immunization rates, and makes the case for promoting herd immunity through increased vaccination rates.
Keywords: Anti-Vaxxer, Vaccination, Herd Immunity