There is no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism, a definitive study has concluded.

The nationwide study—the second of its kind—tracked 657,461 Danish children born between 1999-2010.

Yet a new project by the Royal Society for Public Health found that one in four parents mistakenly believe “you can have too many vaccinations”, while almost half encounter anti-vaccine messages on social media.

Vaccine-preventable diseases like rabies and influenza are resurfacing in the US, alongside measles, declared ‘eliminated’ in 2000. Japan recently endured its worst measles outbreak in years. MMR and cervical cancer vaccine rates are dropping in Britain and the Netherlands.

Historically, people associate vaccines—especially when compulsory—with excessive state power.

Nevertheless, numerous countries consider vaccination essential to national security, requiring prospective visitors be immunised against diseases like yellow fever, polio, and malaria.

Last February, however, unvaccinated French tourists reintroduced measles to Costa Rica, which has been free of native cases since 2006.

Should travellers not vaccinated against a disease be barred from countries which have eradicated that particular pathogen? Or would this represent excessive & unlawful restriction to freedom of movement?

How should we balance civil liberties with countries' right to protect citizens from illness?

   

Source: WHO

     

Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.