How Can We Better Understand Contemporary Vaccine Skepticism? | Texas Public Radio

How Can We Better Understand Contemporary Vaccine Skepticism?

Dec 1, 2019

The controversial debate about the need for and efficacy of vaccinations has resulted in an impasse for people on both sides of the argument. At the core of the discussion is concern for the well being of children. 

Vaccines are scientifically proven to be necessary to strengthen herd immunity but skeptics question the validity of and motivations behind this conclusion. 

What are the chief concerns espoused by so-called "anti-vaxxers"? How do issues of individual bodily autonomy, government responsibility and transparency when it comes to citizen health, and a general distrust of modern medicine factor into the debate?

Is there a middle ground for parents and medical professionals? What are the potential public health outcomes of a societal deadlock on vaccines? How can we reframe the discussion to better understand the root causes of vaccine skepticism? 

Guest: Bernice Hausman, chair of the Department of Humanities at the Penn State College of Medicine and author of "Anti/Vax: Reframing the Vaccination Controversy"

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*This interview was recorded on Monday, December 2.