Supporting the philosophical study of bioethics, bio-medical ethics, biotechnology, and the future of life, at Middle Tennessee State University and beyond... "Keep your health, your splendid health. It is better than all the truths under the firmament." William James
How should we deal with vaccine hesitancy, refusal, and anti-vaccine beliefs?
From my research I found that almost as long as there have been vaccinations, there has been an antivaccine movement, and as long as there has been an anti-vaccine movement, there have been parents who refuse to vaccinate. The history also shows us how there were many organizations that had been standing against the vaccinations. For example, in the 1800s, there were even groups with names like the Anti-Vaccination Society of America and the National Anti-Vaccination League.
The problem is that Parents no longer fear the diseases childhood vaccines protect against, which makes it easy for anti-vaccine activists to provide what I like to call “misinformed consent,” by spreading misinformation that vastly exaggerates the risk of vaccines compared to the benefit of vaccinating. Parents therefore who believe the misinformation conclude that not vaccinating is safer.
Indeed, what to do about it? And how far the state and us should go to encourage vaccination. In my country Egypt I remember that thousands of children died because they didn't take the paralyzed vaccine. Until, the government and the ministry of health have been starting to reach almost each city and each small village to let them aware of the dangerous of anti-vaccine or refuse taking the vaccination.
Here's the question, what are some reasons behind the vaccine refusal:
1-Concerns about added ingredients in vaccines
2-Worry child will suffer other complications from vaccine
3-Worries about “overwhelming” infant’s immune system
4-Distrust of pharmaceutical industry
5-Believe child will get illness from vaccine
6-Pain/stress of multiple injections for child
7-Believe naturally acquired immunity is preferable
8-Religious or political belief
What should we do for increasing acceptance of vaccines?
1-Changing attitudes in the lay press—less glorifying and more scrutiny of vaccine refusers/press finally coming down negatively on vaccine refusers.
2-State laws removing philosophical exemptions for vaccines.
3-Taking more time to address all of the parents’ concerns about vaccines.
4-A new policy to dismiss vaccine refusers from practice