The Anti Vaccination Movement


Safia Khan

The paranoia surrounding vaccines has resurfaced causing some parents to not vaccinate their children.

Safia Khan, Photojournalist

The invention of the vaccine has been deemed one of the most important medical discoveries of all time. However, the anti vaccination trend has been around since the birth of vaccines.

The “trend” of parents refusing to vaccinate their children has been coming and going for centuries. The controversy in the United States began in 1982 when a series of documentaries were released claiming that vaccinating causes more harm than good.

In 1998 British doctor, Andrew Wakefield, fueled the movement by stating that the MMR vaccine had not been properly tested and could cause bowel disease or autism. After his work was published, the General Medical Council found that Wakefield had a “fatal conflict of interest.”  

It wasn’t until 2011 that journalist, Brian Deer, published evidence proving that Wakefield had falsified his evidence for his own personal gain. Due to the severity of his actions, Wakefield is no longer allowed to practice medicine.

Even though this case was proven to be false, it does not stop people from believing that vaccines are harmful, according to the most popular vaccine lists.

When asked about his opinion on the anti-vaccination movement Alex Hindeleh (12) believes that “it is a movement that is based on no concrete evidence and by not vaccinating children, diseases that have been eradicated for centuries will come back.”


The trend has carried it’s way well into the 2000’s with celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy and Kat Von D who are extremely vocal and influential about their antivaxx views.


But choosing to not vaccinate your children is not a choice that not only affects the individual and their family, it affects everyone around them.


A community in North Carolina with a large population of anti-vaxxers has had an outbreak of chickenpox- a disease that had been eradicated and that is completely avoidable. This outbreak was as recent as November of 2018, according to BBC.


November 19, 2018, a close Jewish community of anti-vaxxers in New York had experienced the two largest outbreak of measles. A disease that has had a preventable vaccine has re emerged due to people simply not believing in science, according to Vox.


Caleb Gonzalez (12) also believes that “the anti vaccination trend is something that should not be taken seriously because it has had extremely detrimental and dangerous effects on our society.”


It is clear that what started off as a conspiracy theory, has became a dangerous mindset that has had costly effects.