The Vaccination Debate Isn’t About Science: It’s About Trust

As the measles virus makes its way back from the brink of extinction, the public sphere has been flooded by heated arguments for both sides of the vaccination debate.  For what seems to be the majority of Americans, this is a battle between science and irrationality.  Yet amid the media hype and angry rhetoric an interesting theme has emerged in the outbreak’s narrative.  In defending themselves through interviews, discussion forums, and even the mouthpiece of political candidates, many parents claimed that trust was at the heart of their decision not to vaccinate.  How could they trust that the government, the CDC, or even their family doctor know what is best for their child?

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