Scientists and researchers have often described vaccination as one of the most significant breakthrough achievements of the 20th century. Still, as soon as the vaccination started, the opposition has been formed. There have been many critics of vaccination, even towards the vaccine for smallpox, a deadly disease that has taken more than 50 million lives in the 20th century. All of these controversies resulted in forming anti-vaccination leagues, movements which started a proxy messaging war.
Unfortunately, some of these anti-vaxxers beliefs can provoke real, substantive harm, which most recently led to the outbreak of measles in the US. Even despite the enormous success of the vaccination programs, some parents still refuse to vaccinate their children. For some reason, parents fear from imaginary side effects of vaccination and often forget the potential consequences that these potentially deadly diseases could cause.
The irony is that most of these anti-vaxxers still trust the modern medicine as many of them still use painkillers when needed. All of this fear fuels the anti-vaccination movements which are supported by the media, politicians, thus leading to the parent’s mistrust in their doctors.
How it all started
Smallpox is one of the deadliest diseases of all time. Edward Jenner, an English physician and scientist, discovered the smallpox vaccine, the first vaccine ever created. He showed through numerous experiments on cows that he could protect a child from smallpox by infecting him with lymph from a cowpox blister.
This discovery caused immediate criticism from religion, science, and politics. The church thought that it was unchristian to use a vaccine that has animal origins. Some skeptics even made accusations that the vaccine had caused the appearance of decaying matter in the atmosphere.
The modern anti-vaccination movement was created on April 19th, 1982 when there was much controversy around the DTC vaccine, specifically its pertussis component. This ingredient was supposedly causing severe brain damage, seizures, and delayed motor development. In response to this affair, parents around the globe have refused to vaccinate their children, especially in Great Britain, where the epidemic of pertussis occurred.
From 1982 to this day there have been many claims that vaccines have caused autism and other mental illnesses in children. Various researchers have scientifically proven that there is no relationship between vaccines and autism, but anti-vaxxers movements remain persistent to this day.
Despite all of this controversy around vaccines, every major health organization warns of the potential risks of refusing to vaccinate children.