Decades of misinformation, not “bad parenting,” could be what’s really to blame when a parent decides not to vaccinate their child, according to a new Canadian study.
The study, published in April in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, traces a history of drug scandals (such as the thalidomide disaster of 1962), medical training practices, and a “lack of political priority placed on disease prevention that started in the 1960s” as being responsible for the immunization apathy (or vaccine hesitancy) today, according to a news release.
And people contested the measles vaccine well before the infamous (and now debunked) study that linked the MMR vaccine to autism, the authors of the study noted.
“It’s not all about the parents,” Heather MacDougall, history professor at the University of Waterloo and co-author of the study, said in a news release.
“History reveals systemic problems including lack of public education, lack of access, lack of training, and, perhaps most importantly, lack of political will for a national immunization schedule.”
Canada’s vaccine strategy
Public health officials have been calling for a national vaccine strategy for years, according to Maclean’s magazine, but the strategy that exists remains “a patchwork” between the provinces.
The Globe and Mail, noting that Canada has one of the worst rates of childhood immunization in the developed world, called the system “shamefully clunky and disorganized.” Every province tracks vaccines differently,…