Source: FRONTLINE The Vaccine War
FRONTLINE The Vaccine War
For more resources from this report go to FRONTLINE The Vaccine War.
Vaccines have been touted as one of the most successful advances of modern medicine, yet an increasing number of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children because of possible side effects.
In this video chapter from The Vaccine War, students will examine the debate among public health officials, doctors and parents around vaccine safety and hear differing perspectives on the benefits and risks of childhood vaccination.
The Vaccine War Teacher's Guide (Document)
Nowhere has this debate grown more heated than in Ashland, Ore. -- an area that FRONTLINE learns is of high concern to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With an estimated quarter of the town's children entering kindergarten not fully immunized, Ashland is one of the least vaccinated places in America. Despite the best efforts of local pediatricians like Dr. Donna Bradshaw-Walters, many parents are simply not convinced that vaccines do more good than harm, and they've been using Oregon's religious and personal-belief exemption to get out of the state vaccine mandate. "I think a child's immune system is so immature," says Jennifer Margulis, an Ashland writer and mother of four. Margulis decided against following the recommended CDC schedule -- although prior to a trip to Africa she did have her children vaccinated for yellow fever, tetanus, polio and meningitis. Says Margulis, "If you read the list of ingredients about what you're putting intramuscularly into your child, it's scary."
In The Vaccine War, FRONTLINE lays bare the science of vaccine safety and examines the increasingly bitter debate among the public health establishment, doctors and a formidable populist coalition of parents, celebrities, politicians and activists determined to resist pressure from the medical and public health establishments to vaccinate, despite established scientific consensus about vaccine safety.
In this video excerpt from The Vaccine War, consider differing perspectives among doctors, parents and public health officials on the risks and benefits of vaccines:
Video Segment Themes:
Classroom Discussion Questions:
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