Keys to understanding the resistance of anti-vaccination groups: a public scientific-technological controversy

Obdulia Torres González


This article discusses the debate about vaccination as a case of public scientific technological controversy. In the vaccination controversy there is a scientific question, the effectiveness of vaccines in the elimination of diseases; a question of risk assessment, possible adverse effects and the possibility that immunization causes idiopathic diseases; an ethical question, the balance of rights between the two groups and the limits of the freedom of choice of treatment; and a political issue, who must take decisions about immunization and whether immunization should be mandatory. The results of the analysis of the controversy suggest that the attitudes of the anti-vaccination groups towards vaccination are largely explained by their worldview which comes majorly from New Age beliefs. This worldview causes differences in the interpretation of evidence, law, risk and science.


Antivaccination; Risk; Worldview; Experts, Nature


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