Lessons to be Learned from History and the Perspective of Grandparents and Vaccination of Children

Michael Gordon, MD, MSc, FRCPC,

Medical Program Director, Palliative Care, Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.


Abstract: The progress of medicine over previous decades includes benefits in the world of vaccination against especially childhood disease. It is therefore surprising to witness the growing and vociferous opposition to childhood vaccination, especially for measles. This poses substantial personal and public health risks. It is important to understand the reasons that anti-vaccination sentiment has taken hold among many often highly educated parents.
Key Words: Vaccination, anti-vaxxers, polio, measles vaccine.
The public are not always convinced by the best of medical evidence.
Medicine is always evolving—the public does not always understand the process.
The history of vaccination is long with many great heroes some of whom were not medical or scientific professionals.
Trying to convince people who believe vaccination causes childhood diseases may not respond to more and more evidence as their belief is almost religious in nature.
Sometimes it is the perspective of those old enough to remember the scourge of childhood infectious illnesses who can play a role in helping their children who may oppose vaccination come to their parental senses.
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