Vaccines are widely regarded as one of the greatest achieves of modern medicine and save millions of lives every year. But there are an increasing number of families who decide, for one reason or another, not to vaccinate their children. As a result, diseases that were almost eradicated in the developed countries are returning.
We hear from various families that are against vaccination. Some of them believe in natural and alternative medicines, others don't believe that vaccines are safe while others think that the diseases that are prevented by vaccines don't exist nowadays or are not dangerous any more.
We also hear from those who nearly died or were left seriously handicapped after contracted diseases preventable by vaccine. Roelofje was raised in a Calvinist community in Holland, where vaccination is forbidden for religious reasons. She contracted polio and is when she was a child and is now severely disabled. Palash was left brain damaged after contracting measles while Raquel nearly died after also contracting measles.
We also analyze the role of Internet as a tool for spreading ideas against vaccination and interview epidemiologists, pediatric doctors, homeopaths, as well as representatives of the European Medicines Agency and of the pharmaceutical industry.
Should the decision to vaccination be a strictly personal matter or a public health issue?