Is it possible for scientists to bridge the gap between doubt and evidence? Is there any hope for truth to overcome belief? This is the dilemma of researchers and pediatricians alike regarding the decline in vaccination of children. Despite reports of measles, mumps, and whooping cough returning as well as a few cases of meningitis on the rise. About 1 in 4 Americans believe that vaccines cause autism. This popular belief has seemed to outweigh the control and elimination of numerous endemic infectious diseases.
It is not the sole responsibility of the public to try to grasp the adverse effects immunizations can bring. Rather the efforts of the scientific community strengthening the relationship with the public to increase awareness of falsified, manipulated, and poor science. It requires effective communication of methods of vaccine science. Successful responses to the myths that seem to pervade the public mind is essential to unveiling the contradictions to reality.
Incorporating scientific literacy should become a mainstream message as early as grade school. As well as greater efforts to target the importance of the scientific method so it is commonly understood. This way the public could understand and accept why the 1998 study published in The Lancet (which many of these false beliefs are based and used to support) was retracted. If scientist could see that it took until 2010 (12 years) for said study to be retracted, why the public perceives science as an elaborate fraud. If scientists could be doped into publishing Andrew Wakefield’s, M.D., work as a representation of sound science and research practice, how soon do we expect the public to jump back on board?