From the Public Library of Science we have an article by Liza Gross
Struck by how the idea of a vaccine–autism link continued to gain cultural currency even as science dismissed it, [Sharon] Kaufman took a 26-month hiatus from her life's work on aging and longevity to investigate the forces fueling this growing divide between scientists and citizens. She wanted to understand how parents thought about risk and experts, how these attitudes shaped parents' decisions about vaccination, and what the vaccine wars might teach us about the long-term erosion of public trust in science.
Despite overwhelming evidence that vaccines don't cause autism, one in four Americans still think they do. Not surprisingly, the first half of 2008 saw the largest US outbreak of measles—one of the first infectious diseases to reappear after vaccination rates drop—since 2000, when the native disease was declared eliminated. Mumps and whooping cough (pertussis) have also made a comeback.
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