The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our 2019 Annual Report

Anti-vaccine movement, spurred by internet-based rumors and misinformation

| | October 8, 2019
merlin ad e cb b a d be e f de jumbo
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke at an anti-vaccine rally in Albany in May. Image: Desiree Rios/The New York Times
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

As millions of families face back-to-school medical requirements and forms this month, the contentiousness surrounding vaccines is heating up again, with possibly even more fervor.

Though the situation may seem improbable to some, anti-vaccine sentiment has been building for decades, a byproduct of an internet humming with rumor and misinformation; the backlash against Big Pharma; an infatuation with celebrities that gives special credence to the anti-immunization statements from actors like Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey and Alicia Silverstone, the rapper Kevin Gates and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. And now, the Trump administration’s anti-science rhetoric.

“Science has become just another voice in the room,” said Dr. Paul A. Offit, an infectious disease expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Related article:  As Chipotle struggles with poisoning crisis, it's under fire for GMO and sustainability claims

Public health experts say that patients and many doctors may not appreciate the severity of diseases that immunizations have thwarted, like polio, which can affect the spinal cord and brain — because they probably have not seen cases.

“Vaccines are a victim of their own success,” said Dr. Offit, a co-inventor of a vaccine for rotavirus, which can cause severe diarrhea in young children. “We have largely eliminated the memory of many diseases.”

Read full, original post: How Anti-Vaccine Sentiment Took Hold in the United States

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend