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A Maryland doctor has warned that vaccine skepticism could lead to a global health crisis as big as HIV.
In an op-ed for USA Today, Dr Amesh Adalja, of Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, says people may be surprised that the World Health Organization (WHO) named anti-vaxxers one of the top 10 threats to global health in 2019.
Vaccine - Hesitancy - Category - HIV - Virus
'Surely, vaccine hesitancy - a voluntarily chosen human behavior - cannot be in the same category as HIV, a virus that has killed 35 million people,' he wrote.
'However, if one thinks about the full context of vaccine hesitancy and what it represents, the WHO's inclusion of this outrageous phenomenon is completely justified.'
Dr - Adalja - Vaccines - Achievements - Mankind
Dr Adalja goes on to explain that vaccines are 'one of the greatest achievements of mankind'.
Although there is some evidence that China and India were practicing smallpox inoculation as early as the year 1000, the first vaccine is generally accepted to be English physician Edward Jenner's smallpox vaccine.
UNICEF - Vaccines - Lives - Year
According to UNICEF, vaccines can be credited with saving about nine million lives each year globally.
Dr Adalja writes that if the WHO made a top 10 global health list just 40 years ago, it would be inundated with diseases that now have jabs including meningitis and hepatitis B.
Diseases - List - Infections - Vaccine - HIV
'Indeed, the infectious diseases on the latest list include infections for which no vaccine is available (HIV, antimicrobial resistant bacteria, pandemic influenza) or for which a vaccine is experimental or not fully protective (dengue, Ebola),' he wrote.
The WHO refers to the phenomenon of the anti-vaccine movement as 'vaccine hesitancy'.
Anti-vaxxers - Shots - Protest - Companies - Vaccines
Some anti-vaxxers avoid shots as a protest against big pharmaceutical companies, but some say vaccines are made from unnatural and unsafe chemicals and that they would rather take their chances on their kids getting treated if or when they get sick.
Others argue that vaccines overload...
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