Polio: why the anti-vaccine movement in the US is responsible for the return of eradicated diseases

Una quinta parte de los estadounidenses ha rechazado las vacunas Covid para ellos o sus hijos.

A fifth of Americans have refused Covid vaccines for themselves or their children.

Photo: OneSideProPhoto / Shutterstock

For the first time since the early 1990s, life expectancy is falling for many groups in the United States, and this, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), could be because a fifth of Americans have refused Covid vaccines for themselves or their children.

But new enemies are appearing like monkeypox and polio, infectious diseases that spread more widely and persist over time. Nevertheless, one of the best solutions to reliably prevent them is through vaccination.

Earlier this month, poliovirus was discovered in sewage in counties outside of New York City late last month, marking the first domestic outbreak since the 1970s of that potentially deadly and crippling virus.

Only 65% ​​of residents in some counties outside of New York, for example, Orange and Rockland, are vaccinated against polio, compared to a national average of 80%

“The way people today reject scientific findings and experience of all kinds is frightening,” said Mary Fissell, a medical historian at Johns Hopkins University.

At the end of February, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) asked the states that make up the organization promote vaccination against this disease. However, there is an excess of misinformation on social networks and many of the anti-vaccines blame vaccines for the very diseases they prevent.

Anti-vaccines have historically fought against polio prevention

It is worth mentioning that the first campaigns against vaccination emerged in 2011, when the Taliban began to pollute the immunization climate by claiming that polio vaccines were a plot to reduce the fertility of Muslims, among other theories.

To date, in an attempt to counteract the undesirable propaganda, UNICEF created an information brochure that compiled about 40 religious decrees in favor of vaccination, to convince parents not to put their children in danger.

How do vaccines work?

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains on its website that Vaccines activate the body’s natural defenses and reduce the risk of contracting diseases. In addition, they act by triggering a response from our immune system, which:

  • Recognizes the invading microbe (for example, a virus or bacteria)
  • Generates antibodies
  • Remember the disease and how to fight it

You can also read:
Polio: why experts say it will not spread in the US

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