Vaccines and the anti-vaccinationist rationale
Hand, Cameron M.
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Vaccines have been one of the greatest modern achievements within the fields of medicine and public health. Since their development they have prevented millions. from becoming infected and saved countless lives. Over the years though there have been various instances of anti-vaccinationist movements, which will raise concerns about vaccine safety but then eventually fade away once the virtues of the vaccine are proven greater than the possible opposed reaction or side effect. These movements have create significant drops in vaccination rates regionally and have put many at unnecessary risk of infection. However, over the last decade there has been a general increasing public distrust of vaccinations, which has continued to propagate even after the initial concerns were addressed. This paper aims to evaluate if there is significant justification for the current anti-vaccinationist movement within modernized societies by examining the proposed and eventually discredited link between autism and the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine that was initially suggested in the 1998 Wakefield et al. paper in The Lancet. This study will also evaluate opposing studies on the same to determine if any remaining concerns of a link between autism and the vaccine are justified while also evaluating the anti-vaccinationist rationale even though researchers have presented an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence showing the safety and efficiency of the vaccinations. Finally this study will look into how public health organizations can attempt to better efficiently deal with such movements in the future. The research for this paper is based on the analyzation of multiple recent research articles, as well as the evaluating trends obtained from public health records. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
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