Rise in vaccine hesitancy related to pursuit of purity
Heidi Larson | April 26, 2018
In an interview published in HORIZON, Prof. Heidi Larson explains how the rise of alternative health practices and a quest for purity can partly explain the falling confidence in vaccines which is driving outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles.
Q: Why would people opt out of recommended vaccines?
A: Most people have their recommended vaccines but many do not. In some cases, people are missing out on immunisation because they cannot access vaccines. But there is a growing and concerning trend that shows people with access and education are saying “no thanks”. This is a real challenge because it’s driven by belief and it’s difficult to change people’s minds when they have decided that they don’t want or need a vaccine.
Q: What’s driving the hesitancy to accept recommended vaccines?
A: Part of the reason is that preventable diseases are less visible – but it’s more than just that. In Europe, we’ve seen a rise in alternative health practices such as naturopathy and homeopathy. This purity sentiment is also seen in anti-GMO and anti-chemical movements… [continue reading online]