Intended for healthcare professionals


Vaccine hesitancy: an interview with Stanley Plotkin, rubella vaccine developer

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 23 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6926
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The US vaccine expert talks to Elisabeth Mahase about the threats posed by vaccine hesitancy worldwide and the best ways to tackle it

Stanley Plotkin is something of a celebrity in the vaccine world. He’s even picked up a nickname—“the Godfather of Vaccines.” He developed a vaccine for rubella, which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention credited with leading to the elimination of the disease in the US in 2005. He has also helped create a human rabies vaccine, a rotavirus vaccine (part of the US’s recommended vaccine schedule for babies), and a human cytomegalovirus vaccine.1

When asked about his nickname at the International Society for Vaccines’ annual congress held in Belgium recently, Plotkin smiles. “I think it’s ambiguous, since the Godfather was a criminal,” he says. “I wouldn’t [call myself that], but obviously, I can’t stop others.”

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