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Vaccination Resistance In History: Popular Vaccines First Rejected Before Becoming Global Solutions

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Over the last few months, there has been a lot of conversations around vaccination due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a strong point in the conversation is a lot of people’s fear about getting vaccinated. Some personal and religious reasons are one of the reasons why they have chosen to reject the vaccine and in a lot of countries, health practitioners are doing their best to ensure they debunk whatever concerns a lot of people have.

Vaccination Resistance In History: Popular Vaccines First Rejected Before Becoming Global Solutions
Several types of research have explained decisions of individuals and families to reject vaccines are largely based on the perception of high individual risk, complications observed due to vaccine experiences, distrust of health professionals, lack of trust in Government which was even exhibited by some Government officials, lack of education, and psychological factors.

Vaccine worries date back from the 1960s and earlier, and popular doubts about vaccines and suspicions about the motives behind their use are as old as vaccines themselves. The very first vaccine, which protected against smallpox, was developed in England in the late eighteenth century; it consisted of pus taken from a cowpox blister which was inserted into a small cut in the skin. As word of the new procedure spread, it was met with enthusiasm but also dread. While many patients and physicians were eager to receive the vaccine and end the most dreaded disease of the era, many others feared the prospect of contaminating their healthy bodies with disease matter from an animal.

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In the early nineteenth century, European nation-states began making smallpox vaccination mandatory for their armies. For the poor or for the populace in general, societies of anti-vaccinationists formed to protest what they saw as unequal treatment and undue infringement of individual liberty. They believed that getting vaccinated should be a thing of choice. Anti-vaccinationism spread to the United States later that same century and it has been with us ever since.


In the 1960s when the Polio vaccine was introduced, a few parents up against it over fears for the welfare of their kids. In Northern Nigeria, for several years the polio vaccine was rejected making it difficult for Nigeria to be declared a polio-free nation but today the vaccine has been accepted in all parts of the country.
Read also: COVID-19: Lagos State Govt Eases Restrictions On Event Centres, Increases Occupancy Limit To 500

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When measles and mumps vaccines were also released, parents questioned if it was safe enough to be administered on their children, and today, they have become mandatory vaccines that parents ensure their kids receive as they go through life. In 2021, a lot of concerns have been raised about the COVID-19 vaccine, just like the many other vaccines that came before it.

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Several people and religious organizations and individuals have come out to reject the vaccine claiming they do not consider it safe enough for use and that it is an end-time – 666 – a tool that was mentioned in the Bible. The former fear is totally understandable, especially as some cases of blood clot and hyperactivity was reported in some countries. The latter is, however, tied to faith and belief in the power of God to cure mysterious illnesses.

Governments, World Health Organization, and healthcare workers are working actively towards assuring everyone of the safety of the vaccine. We believe that it is important for everyone to get vaccinated against various diseases and protect themselves from various viruses.

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