Skeptical vaccines appear to be condemned as a wasteful minority after centuries where they stopped the deadly epidemic, but the anti-vaccine movement has resurfaced when it is least expected, driven by the spread of hoaxes on social networks that some politicians believe and fight for.
GENEVA The big increase this year in cases of measles in the world, from 30% to 173,000 cases in 2018 according to the World Health Organization, gives a warning signal about the negative effects of this movement, being reborn in the last 20 years and that for WHO is the key to reappearance diseases in Western countries where the disease is considered a disease of the past, such as Germany or Italy.
Only in the first six months of this year there were 41,000 cases in Europe, more than 24,000 were recorded in 2017, and 17 deaths from diseases which, despite their low mortality, can cause chronic consequences for those who suffer from this disease, as blindness.
The emergence of these cases cannot be attributed only to the anti-vaccine movement, but coincides with this, and its impact on celebrities and people with the ability to influence, at a very beautiful time to spread rumors through social networks and the arrival of politicians who wants to use it.
Arguments that have been denied from anti-vaccines, because they produce autism or contain levels of mercury that are harmful to health, have resulted in for example that in Romania the number of children inoculated has dropped from 90 to 80% in just five years, and that measles will cause in 2016 and 2017 around thirty deaths.
In Romania, infections ranging from 15 infections in 2015 to more than 9,000 between 2016 and 2017, and similar situations can reach nearby countries such as Italy, where Vice President Matteo Salvini is skeptical of recognized vaccines and the government is trying to curb legislation invited people who want to force all underage children to inject.
Although there was a worrying increase in cases of measles in the transalpine country, members of the Government remained reluctant to pursue legal initiatives that would require parents of each child to give their official certificate of vaccination to register them.
In Spain, where WHO considers that diseases such as measles are really eradicated for now – except in isolated cases from the outside, however, 3% of children whose parents did not bring them to be vaccinated for religious or ideological reasons, who equivalent to 80,000 and 150,000 minors.
In the United States, President Donald Trump mentioned in his controversial election campaign about alleged links between vaccines and autism, and on the country's social networks many promoters of these ideas were Russian "bots" with destabilizing goals, according to him defending the report from the American Journal of Public Health.
Skepticism towards vaccines was born almost at the beginning of its application in the West in the 18th century, when the inoculation campaign initiated by the father of immunology, Edward Jenner, was not adequately controlled and vaccination was not well isolated. which produces adverse results.
Increased vaccination techniques, especially in the twentieth century, effectively eradicated or controlled highly contagious and sometimes deadly diseases such as smallpox, tetanus, whooping cough, diphtheria, polio, rubella or mumps, reducing anti-vaccine arguments.
But the disappearance of this disease in some developed countries resulted in the neglect of the same vaccination campaign with negative results, as happened in Sweden, where 60% of children suffered whooping cough between 1979 and 1996, the period in which authorities decided to stop injecting children – child against him.
And skepticism was revived in 1998 after the publication of an article by British doctor Andrew Wakefield in the journal The Lancet that established a connection between autism and the MMR vaccine (measles-mumps-rubella).
The same publication denied the article to regard it as fraud, but did not do it until 2011, and Wakefield's ideas – which left Britain to live in the US, where their ideas had greater support – were saved from time to time by politicians and users of social networks.
Figures provided by WHO say 40 million people were saved from smallpox, or 16 million people free of polio-created paralysis, unconvincing skeptics of all political signs, from libertarians who believe in the right not to be vaccinated to the leftist who believes that inoculation is just a big business from the pharmaceutical giant.