Paul L. Delamater
Dr. Paul Delamater is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and a Faculty Fellow at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research uses Geographic Information Systems and spatial/statistical analysis to better understand the geographic aspects of population health issues, broadly focusing on health-related behavior and health care utilization.
Vaccine refusal is contagious
Research published today in BMC Public Health, which looked at vaccine-related behaviors in California over a 14 year period, finds that non-medical vaccine exemptions operate in a similar way to a contagious disease with cases emanating from high exemption areas. Here, author for the research, Paul L Delamater, tells us about the findings and what they mean in relation to vaccination policies.
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Much of the current debate surrounding vaccination in the US centers on parental rights and whether parents should be compelled to vaccinate their children. Hesitancy towards vaccines is not a new phenomenon in the US or elsewhere around the world. Since vaccines were introduced, there has been a subset of the population opposed to them (for a variety of reasons). Modern vaccine hesitancy can likely be traced back to, at least partially, the now debunked research linking the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine with autism.
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