Unfounded fears about vaccinations have been with us for a long time. Yet, as Internet and social media use have surged, vaccine related misinformation is reaching far wider audiences than before. Anti-vaccination believers have formed communities around the topic urging parents not to vaccinate their children.
As these anti-vaccination attitudes are trending, the death toll is rising. The Sun reported a 400% growth in measles infections across Europe from 2016 to 2017 . The recent outbreaks have occurred in areas where the vaccination rates had dropped, leading to over 20,000 people affected and 35 people killed by preventable disease.
Since we’ve had the privilege of growing up in a world of vaccines, many of us haven’t seen the effect of the horrible diseases that vaccines protect us from. Which begs the question… why don’t we know better?
Why don’t we know better?
Vaccines are one of the most studied subjects in all of medicine – we do know better. The Internet is loaded with accurate information produced and compiled by several authorities, experts and active bloggers (WHO, publichealth.org and SciBabe  to name a few).
So if there is no lack of correct information, what’s the problem? Well, there’s a lot of incorrect information too. Could it be that the correct information is difficult to find and consume? Is the anti-vaccination message simpler to accept?
Not many anti-vaccine believers are extremists refusing to reason. Most are people with real worries about their families’ health. So when the Internet shouts “not safe” and “safe” at the same time, how do we know who to listen to?
We believe that part of the answer to this is through making the way vaccines work more accessible. Imagine if… you understood what goes on in your body?
Fun, accessible information
We know there isn’t one simple answer to this, but our belief is that making information fun and accessible is a key piece for solving the anti-vaccination problem.
That’s why we created Antidote – so that you can actually control a simulation of the human body’s internal defenses. You can experiment with adaptive immunity and see how vaccines, stem cells and antibiotics work.
Of course, Antidote isn’t going to force your hand. If you want to test what happens if you skip vaccines… Antidote is a safe place to do just that and learn about the consequences.
Let’s talk about real issues
Accessibility for science and business means transparency, open information, responsible actions, patient care and communication.
For the public, it leads to science literacy – the ability to understand how research works, why it is important, and what the true risks are – along with their probabilities.
The funny thing is, vaccines are something we really need to talk about. Not because of imaginary links to autism, but instead to ask how the development process of vaccines be improved, and how to provide much needed vaccines to countries and people that can’t afford to develop them.
Science has got us this far. It is our mission to grow in knowledge, face things as they are, and have fun while we do so. If you agree – or if you don’t – we warmly invite you to join the discussion with us now.
Ready to talk about real issues?
2. WHO – the World Health Organization on vaccines
3. CDC – the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
4. PublicHealth.org – a short overview on vaccines
5. Thoughtscapism – one cool science blogger on vaccines
6. SciBabe – another cool science blogger on vaccines