Religiously-Motivated Vaccine Hesitancies
A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2019) | Viewed by 406
An enigmatic feature of 21st century public discourse about science is the way in which well-established scientific consensus has frequently been subjected to scepticism from non-scientists. In the most scientifically advanced societies, widespread doubts have been expressed about such topics as climate change, biological evolution, and the safety and efficacy of vaccinations. Notably, distrust concerning vaccines persists, though vaccination has long proven to be one of the most important and successful public health measures ever introduced. Research indicates that numerous influences and rationale can stimulate such uncertainties. These include religiously-motivated vaccine hesitancies, which may be fostered by local religious leaders, cultivated within religious communities, or affected by various media sources. Importantly, religiously-motivated doubts about vaccines can serve as notable contextual determinants for counter-vaccination choices. Criticisms of vaccines vary from religion to religion, and may be associated with objections to the use of blood products, the application of cell-culture media originally derived from foetal origins, as well as the presence of bovine or porcine pharmaceutical excipients. In fact, modern disputations of vaccines can be identified across a range of religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
This Special Issue invites contributions examining the ongoing role of religiously-motivated vaccine hesitancies throughout the world today, as well as historical analyses of religious objections to vaccinations. What functions might religiously-motivated vaccine hesitancies play in the risk perceptions of the public? What are the nuances and implications of religious concerns about immunisation, as expressed by different communities? Have religiously-motivated objections to vaccines changed over time? How can stakeholders and policymakers best address religious challenges to vaccinations as they seek to increase vaccine uptakes?
Dr. Tom Aechtner
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- vaccine hesitancies