The Polio Vaccine began in Sweden in 1957. Photo by Ingemar Berling/Pressens Bild (Press photo), Public Domain.
Despite a general scientific consensus that vaccines are safe and effective and an important tool for the prevention of many diseases, there is much debate continues in the media about the topic, with many people voluntarily decided not to vaccinate themselves or their children. In The Vaccination Chronicles, Richard Saunders addresses the idea that vaccination has been a victim of its own success. That is, he believes that part of the reason people no longer think vaccination is necessary is that most of us today weren't around to see what life was like without them.
Richard Saunders, 2016. Image from Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 4.0
The film was created by Richard Saunders, of the Australian Skeptics Inc., children's book author and host of the Skeptic Zone Podcast. The film contains interviews with Australians from all walks of life, including science commicator Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, AM, who share stories of their experiences with watching loved ones or patients in their care suffering from illnesses that can now be prevented using vaccines. Their often heart-breaking experiences are described in plain language, making it easy to follow for people without a background in science. It's a cautionary tale about the possible consequences of letting our guard down and allowing these diseases to make a comeback in Australia.
The Vaccination Chronicles is a short film, at just under 30 minutes long, and is available to watch for free in full on Youtube. It is also available for purchase on a non-region encoded DVD from the Australian Skeptics website. It's a useful resource for anyone who wants to learn more about vaccines and their history.