Polio vaccination Pacific Press/Getty Images

Quando o populismo pode matar

LONDRES –O ceticismo infundado em relação às vacinas em algumas comunidades, tanto nos países em vias de desenvolvimento como nos países desenvolvidos, surgiu nos últimos anos como um dos mais sérios obstáculos ao progresso global na saúde pública. Na verdade, é uma das principais razões de as doenças infecciosas erradicáveis persistirem até hoje.

Por exemplo, o esforço para se erradicar a poliomielite do mundo foi interrompido no Afeganistão, Paquistão e na Nigéria, onde o domínio de militantes islamitas levou ao aumento da resistência contra as campanhas de vacinação. E muitos países de elevado rendimento têm vivenciado surtos de sarampo nos últimos anos, devido a receios das vacinas que começaram com a publicação de um artigo fraudulento na revista médica britânica The Lancet, em 1998.

Mais recentemente, o ceticismo sobre a eficácia e a segurança das vacinas tem vindo a aumentar no sul da Europa. De acordo com um estudo, de 2016, a Grécia está agora entre os 10 países, do mundo inteiro, que depositam menos confiança na segurança das vacinas. E, tal como constatou o ministro grego da Saúde, Andreas Xanthos, os profissionais de saúde deparam-se cada vez mais com pais que têm receio de vacinar os seus filhos.

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