Understanding those who do not understand: a brief review of the anti-vaccine movement

Vaccine. 2001 Mar 21;19(17-19):2440-5. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(00)00469-2.


Vaccines and the ability to prevent morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases have been one of the greatest public health success stories. On a global level, it is one of the few cost-effective medical measures that result in universal benefit. Despite this, there is evidence of a growing anti-vaccine movement. In turn, this has, in some cases, resulted in major disruptions in vaccine programs, with resultant needless morbidity and mortality. Of interest are the factors that seem to contribute to the current trend of anti-vaccine sentiment. This paper will examine the current anti-vaccine movement and provide current examples. Finally, a review of suggestions for dealing with the anti-vaccine movement will be presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Decision Making
  • Health Education
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Pertussis Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Public Health
  • Public Opinion
  • Public Policy
  • Safety
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vaccines* / adverse effects


  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Pertussis Vaccine
  • Vaccines