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‘Bold,’ ‘Aggressive’ Campaign Vital To Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy

New York Times: How to Inoculate Against Anti-Vaxxers
Editorial Board

“The World Health Organization has ranked vaccine hesitancy — the growing resistance to widely available lifesaving vaccines — as one of the top 10 health threats in the world for 2019. … It’s no mystery how we got here. On the internet, anti-vaccine propaganda has outpaced pro-vaccine public health information. … The consequences of this disparity are substantial: a surge in outbreaks of measles, mumps, pertussis, and other diseases; an increase in influenza deaths; and dismal rates of HPV vaccination, which doctors say could effectively wipe out cervical cancer if it were better utilized. But infectious disease experts warn that things could get much worse. Trust in vaccines is being so thoroughly eroded, they say, that these prevention tools are in danger of becoming useless. … Thwarting this danger will require a campaign as bold and aggressive as the one being waged by the anti-vaccination contingent. And to launch such a campaign would require overcoming strong inertia: a waning public health apparatus, countervailing politics, and a collective amnesia over the havoc the diseases in question once wrought. But to succeed would be to rescue from oblivion one of the greatest triumphs of human ingenuity over disease — and to save countless lives…” (1/19).