Current animosity against vaccinations has lead to an increasing number of parents (especially mothers) refusing to give their
children some and even any immunizations. This is worrisome to many healthcare professions who are often perplexed
regarding why some of the lay public (even with recognized academic education) would do this in spite of the scientifically-
proven benefit of immunizations for all age groups. The rationalizations for such refusals in the 21st century are complex and not
easy to fathom. Part of the explanation lies in the historical animosity that has existed for more than two centuries between the
pro-vaccine groups and the anti-vaccine groups. This panorama explores pertinent historical trends starting with Alfred Russel
Wallace (1823-1913) who was born the year Edward Jenner died and was the co-discover of the concept of natural selection .
This chronicled perspective will also recapitulate the contributions of such luminaries as Bleuler, Kanner, Asperger, Bettlelheim,
Rimland, Wakefield, and Offit. As we understand the historical basis for some of the current anti-vaccine malignity, we can
develop more effective strategies to counter-act them for the benefit of society. Otherwise, more of the public will return to
centuries-old concepts of mysticism, mantics, and magic for their healthcare.
Donald E. Greydanus MD, Dr HC (ATHENS), FAAP, FIAP (HON) is Professor & Chair and Program Director, Department of Pediatrics, Western
Michigan University School of Medicine (Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA). He is also Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development at Michigan State
University College of Human Medicine (East Lansing, Michigan, USA). He received the M.D. degree from the College of Medicine & Dentistry of
New Jersey (Newark) and completed a Pediatric Residency Program at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota,
USA) and a Fellowship in Adolescent Medicine from New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center (New York City). In 2010
he received the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Athens (Greece) as a ?distinguished scientist who through outstanding work has
bestowed praise and credit on the field of Adolescent Medicine (Ephebiatrics).? In 2010 he received the Outstanding Achievement in Adolescent
Medicine Award from the Society for Adolescent Medicine ?as a leading force in the field of adolescent medicine and health.? Dr. Greydanus has
published extensively on Pediatric/Adolescent Health Issues and lectured in many countries on Pediatrics & Adolescent health as well.
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