One of the most prevalent messages that have emerged in this year’s novel coronavirus pandemic has been the need for a vaccine before life can return to any semblance of normal.
A Rise In Opposition Of Vaccinations
Vaccinations have been regarded as one of the greatest medical advances of the modern age. As new vaccines are produced for a variety of different diseases, adults and children around the world have the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives free from the risk of death. Many of the leading causes of death have been nearly eradicated around the world due to the advances in vaccine implementation.
However, in recent years there has been a growing distrust of vaccines and the administering of vaccinations to individuals as a default healthcare service. More and more concerned parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for a variety of reasons, which has resulted in the return of many infectious diseases that had been all-but ended.
While vaccination concern and distrust have increased in the last several years, opposition to the practice has been present since their introduction. As early as the smallpox vaccine in the 1800s, vaccinations have faced opposition due to health, religious, and sanitation reasons. Vaccination opposition isn’t a new concept. As long as there have been vaccines, there have been people who objected to them. A DTP vaccine distributed in the 1970s was later found to have a link to neurological disorders, which increased mistrust of vaccines and the healthcare system that encourages them.
Why Do Many Oppose Vaccines?
As seen above, vaccination opposition arises from a variety of reasons. For some, health concerns such as allergic reactions and unknown short-term and long-term side effects prevent them from seeking vaccines. However, studies continue to emerge regarding the safety of vaccines due to the testing and studies involved with the approval of each.
Others refuse vaccinations citing religious views and beliefs. While most mainline religions and denominations allow for the vaccination, more hardline and fundamentalist groups still encourage and condemn medical healthcare of all kinds – including vaccinations.
The most recent group to emerge in the past decade to oppose vaccinations cite unproven health-related reasons for refusing vaccinations. Misleading and false studies touted by leading celebrities and faux-healthcare experts seem to connect vaccinations with the rise in various childhood disabilities such as autism. For example, many show concern regarding the MMR vaccine given to children at an early age, even though the CDC has released studies showing the lack of evidence for negative side effects due to the vaccine. However, for this group, the unknown risks outweigh the benefits involved with vaccines, which has unfortunately led to a rise in cases of highly infectious illnesses such as Measles and Pertussis within unvaccinated populations.
Another concerning attitude toward vaccines comes with the seasonal influenza vaccine. Many avoid getting their flu shot each year due to concern with a lack of efficacy and the risk of getting sick from the vaccine – concerns which have been repeatedly proven false. However, individuals continue to refuse the vaccination, which could spell disaster for the hopes of a vaccinated population for the COVID-19 epidemic.
How To Serve Concerned Patients
As long as there is a strain of anti-vaccination concern in the culture, physicians and healthcare professionals will have to continue to educate the public and encourage patients to receive life-saving vaccines. As with other health concerns and illness-related conspiracy theories, the best action a physician can take is to work patiently with individuals, listening to their concerns and helping to educate them about the facts related to vaccines.
A growing mistrust of institutions and medical science has caused many to stop adhering to health guidance from experts, so the battle for education is growing steeper and more difficult by the day.
Find Help With Apollo Online
At Apollo, our team understands that healthcare professionals may struggle to serve patients who willingly deny health science and refuse medical guidance. Our online community of physicians works together to offer resources and encouragement to help one another grow and serve better as individuals continue to push against health science.
For more helpful information such as this, and to connect with other physicians and healthcare experts, head over to Apollo online.