Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Public Health

Vaccine disputes

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 22 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2435

Vaccines: Pro & Con

Vaccines are a mixed blessing. They can stimulate our immune system and generate an immunity to acute disease, but they can also overwhelm our immune system and generate a susceptibility to chronic disease. The question about vaccines is not whether they work; the question is whether the cure is worse than the disease. Are we better off with the artificial immunity that results from vaccines? Or are we better off with the natural immunity that results from the usual childhood diseases of measles, mumps, and chickenpox? Let’s re-visit this question in a calm, objective manner, without polarizing, ad hominem arguments.

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests:

27 June 2009
Hugh Mann
Eagle Rock, MO 65641 USA