Gangarosa, E. J. et al. Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story. Lancet 351, 356-361

Gangarosa International Health Foundation and Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 02/1998; 351(9099):356-61. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(97)04334-1
Source: PubMed


To assess the impact of anti-vaccine movements that targeted pertussis whole-cell vaccines, we compared pertussis incidence in countries where high coverage with diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccines (DTP) was maintained (Hungary, the former East Germany, Poland, and the USA) with countries where immunisation was disrupted by anti-vaccine movements (Sweden, Japan, UK, The Russian Federation, Ireland, Italy, the former West Germany, and Australia). Pertussis incidence was 10 to 100 times lower in countries where high vaccine coverage was maintained than in countries where immunisation programs were compromised by anti-vaccine movements. Comparisons of neighbouring countries with high and low vaccine coverage further underscore the efficacy of these vaccines. Given the safety and cost-effectiveness of whole-cell pertussis vaccines, our study shows that, far from being obsolete, these vaccines continue to have an important role in global immunisation.

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    • "A different outcome occurred for pertussis, however. Beginning in the 1970s for countries such as Sweden, Japan, and U.K., the success of whole cell pertussis (wP) vaccination in near elimination of pertussis resulted in increased attention on the high rate of wP-associated AEFI (fever and neurologic events), media attention , loss of confidence in wP with major drop in vaccine coverage, and resurgence of pertussis (Fig. 1, Phase 3) [8]. In the US, similar forces resulted instead in an increase in lawsuits and price of vaccine, loss of vaccine manufacturers, and eventual passage of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) in 1986 [19]. "
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    • "To test the hypothesis that social connections could improve the performance of opinion classification methods, we considered a classification task in the surveillance of antivaccine rhetoric about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines on Twitter. The growth of anti-vaccine rhetoric in the media is an international problem [16] [17]. HPV vaccines are a relatively recent introduction to the armament of public health, and uptake is highly variable by country, demographic, and location [18]. "
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    • "The FSM statements about the impact of complementary medicine on public health ('…delays in effective treatment, side effects, drug interactions, health misinformation and distrust of conventional medicine', '... public harm being done to patients', '… there's a lot of harm being caused in women's and children's health', '… the threat is to society in general' and '(l)ives have been lost over this') are also factually true and can be verified. Numerous recent outbreaks of infectious disease in the developed world can be traced to anti-vaccine sentiment arising from distrust of conventional medicine and misplaced trust in complementary medicine (Gangarosa et al., 1998; Maltezou Helena & Wicker, 2013). There have also been numerous cases of patient deaths caused by delays in obtaining effective treatment where the patient relied on complementary medicine,(Mashta, 2009; Smith, Stephens, Werren, & Fischer, 2013) and deaths directly attributable to the effects of treatment with complementary medicine (Farley, 2010; Iwadate et al., 2003). "

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