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Hum Immunol. 2012 Aug;73(8):859-66. Epub 2012 Apr 12.

The clinician's guide to the anti-vaccinationists' galaxy.

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Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic, 611C Guggenheim Building, 200 First Street, SW Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


In this paper we briefly review three common immunological misconceptions that feature prominently among anti-vaccinationists, and in turn, fuel patient and parental concerns, questions, and fears about vaccines. In particular, this Perspective covers a brief history of the anti-vaccine movement, and three common false immunological claims, namely, concerns over "antigenic overload," the induction of autoimmunity by vaccines, and the value of "natural immunity" versus vaccine-induced immunity. This is followed by a review of the harms that have been done by anti-vaccinationists, and a call to action. Regardless of the motivation behind such fears and anti-vaccine sentiment, common fears and concerns relevant to vaccines are evident and therefore are the subject of this Perspective. It is hoped that clinicians will find this information useful in answering concerns and misconceptions about vaccines, and in educating their patients.

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