Regarded as one of the biggest Pharmaceutical breakthroughs of the 20th century, the introduction of the measles vaccine to the masses in the early 1960s brought the total count down by thousands per year, which later lead to the mass eradication of the dreaded disease in several parts of the world.
As of 2013, the number of measles cases in countries such as the UK and some other parts of Europe dropped to almost zero.
Perhaps the most noteworthy success story of immunization was the total eradication of polio in India back in 2014.
A few decades ago, however, a former British medical researcher, Andrew Wakefield, sparked off a notion that some vaccines were directly linked to autism in children. He even got a journal published on the same without valid peer review. This caused widespread fear and hysteria among people across Europe and the US.
But the day was saved after scientists pointed out that Wakefield’s journal and research were fraudulent, and proved it by successfully demonstrating, through experiments, that vaccines had no relation to autism.
But the conspiracy theory refused to die out, ultimately leading to a landfall in immunization rates, especially in 2014 and 2016.
As per experts, populist politics in some First World nations lead to an increased strengthening of the anti-vaccination and anti-science lobby.
Several experienced scientists and medical professionals expressed fears that these groups were jeopardizing public health. And to confirm their fears, Measles, which was declining and dormant for quite a while, is threatening a potential outbreak in the UK and the US – two nations with the strongest opponents to vaccination.
To allay these dangerous misconceptions, we will elicit answers to questions people generally have about vaccines, from the most esteemed public health organizations across the world.