Emilia H. Lopera Pareja, member of the research group ScienceFlows and of the CIEMAT Scientific Culture Research Unit, has published the book El movimiento antivacunas. Argumentos, causas y consecuencias (‘The anti-vaccine movement. Reasons, causes and consequences’), in which she explores the origins and multiple implications of vaccine rejection that is taking place in some developed countries. Published by Los Libros de la Catarata, this volume is part of the Essays on Science and Society series, an initiative of the Organisation of Ibero-American States (OEI) to promote studies that combine research with accessibility and knowledge transfer to society.
Although in Spain there is not yet an organised and influential anti-vaccines group as in other countries, the publication of this book arises as a result of the concern shown by public health experts and health professionals about the existence of certain vaccine rejection that, in recent years, is having an impact on the appearance of epidemic outbreaks of almost eradicated diseases, such as diphtheria, pertussis or measles.
Given this new scenario, the author analyses why the public image of vaccines in Spain begins to erode – why precisely now and by whom – what are their arguments and claims, what consequences and implications derive from this vaccine refusal and, most importantly, how this problem in which parents, health professionals, political managers and the pharmaceutical industry are involved could be addressed.
The content of this essay also stops at the analysis of specific social controversies that relate certain vaccines to certain disorders or diseases – such as the case of the MMR vaccine and autism or the most recent controversy of the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV)) –. It also addresses the role of the media and Internet in the dynamisation of information flows as well as the ethical implications that underlie from the legal, epidemiological and economic point of view. Finally, the book includes a series of recommendations and actions to be developed by the social agents involved.
The book was presented on October 25, at the Cervantes and Compañía de Madrid bookstore. In this link you can see the video recorded by the Organisation of American States, including a summary of the event.