The vaccine in the History

Les vaccins dans l’Histoire

Justin Trudeau has participated yesterday at an international conference on the search for a vaccine. The anti-vaccine immediately agitated, expressing fears and threats.

Yet, the deplorable consequences of the COVID-19 in our lives will not end really only with the discovery of a vaccine. In spite of everything, as soon as we pronounce this word means to whisper. For the past few years, a curious movement, anti-vaccine took shape. The movement is based on religious beliefs and beliefs ” alternative “.

For a time, nobody worried too much, the proportion is minimal. When 95 % or more of a population is vaccinated, contagious diseases cease to wander, and the non-vaccinated are protected by the other.

However, we have witnessed the past few years to a worrying phenomenon. Outbreaks of diseases that were thought extinct have appeared here and there. For example, the State of New York has experienced during the last year a resurgence of measles. The local government has had to outright exclude from the schools children who are not immunized. A difficult decision.


One thing stands out from this trend : the vaccination is a victim of its success. If some parents allow themselves the luxury of juggle with the idea not to vaccinate their child, it is that they are no longer afraid. If the risk that the child dies or becomes disabled appeared very probable, raisonnerait otherwise.

In 1900, Canada, one child out of four did not to a year. A significant proportion of the other did not reach adulthood. Water, nutrition, medicine AND vaccines explain the progress.

At this time, they were afraid of the mumps. Today, there are fewer than 100 cases per year in Canada. Most people 40 years and younger have never met someone with the mumps. Same thing for measles and rubella.

Who is afraid ?

Polio is an example even more interesting. Most young people are unaware of what it is. Yet, there are just a few decades, you were likely to bump into people, enough many elsewhere, who have spent their life with paralysis standing and members deformed. Lives ravaged by polio.

Go into a room of teens in Quebec today and ask : “Who’s afraid of polio ? “The young people you look like an extra-terrestrial. How to have fear of a disease that we do not know and have never crossed a victim ?

We are at a point where most people do not know that they are vaccinated against polio and that it is thanks to this that this terrible disease is raging more. We meet people now, having read something on the internet, who fear the vaccine itself rather than the disease.

It is more than time to include in our history, a chapter on the diseases, epidemics and the solutions that have improved the lives of humanity. Teach the history to understand what has shaped our world.

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