The World Health Organization has declared vaccine hesitancy as one of the prime health threats in 2019, surprising many people from all over the world. Most citizens will vaccinate themselves and their children but the anti-vaccination trend has continued to grow in the recent years.
The move is encouraged by the rising popularity of anti-vaccine groups on several social platforms, where like-minded individual share their thoughts and look for support when other people contradict them.
Vaccines were boycotted since the first ones were introduced more than two centuries ago. Back in the day vaccines were new and the way in which they worked seemed to be quite suspicious. After all, exposing someone to a disease seems to be the best way to get them infected. The rudimentary method that was used in order to administer the smallpox vaccine, the first vaccine that became widely available, led to several problems. In order to administer the vaccine a doctor made a series of cuts on the arm of a child. Organic matter from the wounds of vaccinated children was placed in these cuts and in most cases many of the children were exposed to severe risks like infections and gangrene.
The painful procedure was contested by parents and anti-vaccination advocates alike. It was only a matter of time before the first conspiracy theories appeared. Thousands of people thought that doctors lobbied for mandatory vaccination in order to gain more money, as public vaccinators were payed for each child that was immunized.
The groups were joined by libertarians that promoted the right to choose what is best for your child. In our days some parties are actively working on the removal of mandatory vaccination in order to please an electorate that is willing to do anything in order to be free to reject vaccines.
Some web platforms have announced that they will try to limit the publicity received by content that promotes anti-vaccination attitudes but people will be always free to visit other sites that are more permissive.
It is likely that the anti-vaccine trend will continue to grow in the upcoming years.