Case study: The Vaccination Problem
Vaccination is a topic of paramount social importance. We live longer and healthier lives, and medical research and innovation have been a driver for this for many years. Vaccination is one of the most important pillars of public health, but they also raise a lot of concern. In many countries some vaccines are mandatory. Where is the truth? What are the real choices we have - as individuals and as a society? How can we make sure that we have a well-informed opinion on this topic?
Recommended for: high school students, university students, adults
Tags: vaccines, healthcare, conspiracy theories, disinformation, eradicated diseases, herd immunity, religious beliefs
A great part of the debate around vaccines and vaccination is centered around fears about the composition of the vaccines. This building block presents information on both sides of the debate in the context of misrepresentation of facts, disinformation and manipulation techniques.
Are vaccines compatible with religious beliefs? We delve into the issue of personal freedom vs. public interest and discuss how personal choices can lead to harmful impact to others. Should vaccination be mandatory and to what extent? This building block also covers many of the misrepresentations and identifies the real and false claims about the position which the main religions in Europe have on vaccination.
Who are the antivaxxers? What determines the negative attitude to vaccination?
What is the relation between social status, level of education and the opinion on vaccination? What is the impact of social media?
The use of vaccines has led to the eradication of life-threatening diseases such as the endemic yellow fever, rubella and respiratory diphtheria. The latest outbursts of measles, possibly caused by growing vaccination hesitancy and refusal, challenges the concepts of herd immunity and elimination of lethal infections. This building block gives ground to debate on the efficacy of vaccines and their positive impact on the human life-span.
Vaccines are generally considered safe and effective but according to some sources are also to be blamed for causing autism. The topic of mandatory vaccination creates fertile ground for misinformation and disinformation. This building block explores the ratio between vaccines safety and adverse effects.
This building block is about vaccines and conspiracy theories, driven by vaccine scepticism, fear or something else. Learning about conspiracy theories in general and getting a better understanding of this phenomenon brings more clarity and greater awareness of the multi-layered entanglement of emotional and rational motivations and argumentations related to vaccines. Mastering this building block is a great foundation for understanding and challenging other conspiracy theories.
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