Vaccinations Are An Integral Part Of Maintaining Public Health Essay

2199 WordsSep 25, 20169 Pages
Vaccinations are an integral part of maintaining public health. In fact, they have been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the “Ten Great Public Health Achievements in the 20th Century.” However, despite staggering statistical evidence in favor of immunizations, as well as science that has been made easily accessible to the public, there is a growing minority of citizens who hesitate or completely refuse vaccines. Vaccine hesitators have existed since the initial introduction of vaccines (Heifferon, 2006). However, the threat of modern vaccine hesitators differs greatly from that of their historically similar counterparts. The digital age provides vaccine hesitators the means to network, share misinformation, and recruit without geographic limitations. Many have settled into tightly-knit online communities in which they can share their beliefs and concerns with likeminded individuals. The growth and success of the modern anti-vaccination movement poses a direct threat to public health, as can be seen from the widely-publicized 2015 measles outbreak that originated at Disneyland in California (Zipprich et al., 2015). This makes it imperative that we attempt to better understand members of these online communities so that we can discern how best to react to them. Literature Review Web 2.0 and Healthcare Decisions. The participatory nature of the modern internet age has become a significant factor in making healthcare decisions. Not only are
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