Vaccination resistance has finally been explained

Vaccination resistance has finally been explained
© iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Why is it so challenging to increase the number of people who get vaccinated? How does vaccination resistance remain strong even as preventable diseases make a comeback?

According to Dartmouth College, USA, research shows that past problems with vaccines can cause a phenomenon known as hysteresis, creating a negative perception that alters and hardens public resolve therefore causing vaccination resistance. The study explains why it is so hard to increase uptake even when overwhelming evidence indicates that vaccines are safe and beneficial.

The hysteresis cycle to vaccination resistance

A hysteresis loop causes the impact of a force to be observed even after the force itself has been eliminated. This is why unemployment rates can sometimes remain high in a recovering economy, or why physical objects resist returning to their original state after being acted on by an outside force. And, Dartmouth research suggests that this is why the public resists vaccination campaigns for ailments like the common flu.

Feng Fu, an assistant professor of mathematics at Dartmouth College explains: “Given all the benefits of vaccination, it’s been a struggle to understand why vaccination rates can remain stubbornly low.”

“History matters, and we now know that hysteresis is part of the answer.”

The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, is the first study to demonstrate that hysteresis can impact public health.

“Once people question the safety or effectiveness of a vaccine, it can be very difficult to get them to move beyond those negative associations. Hysteresis is a powerful force that is difficult to break at a societal level.” adds Fu.

Vaccination resistance needs to stop

Low vaccine compliance is a public health issue that can cause the loss of ‘herd immunity’ and lead to the spread of infectious diseases. In parts of Europe and North America, childhood diseases like measles, mumps and pertussis have returned as a result of vaccination resistance .

“This study shows why it is so hard to reverse low or declining vaccine levels,” said Xingru Chen, a graduate student at Dartmouth and the first author of the research paper. “The sheer force of factual, logical arguments around public health issues is just not enough to overcome hysteresis and human behaviour.”

According to the research, the hysteresis loop can be caused by questions related to the risk and effectiveness of vaccines. Negative experiences or perceptions related to vaccination impact the trend of uptake over time, otherwise known to the researchers as a ‘vaccination trajectory’ that gets stuck in the hysteresis loop.

Hysteresis prevents an increase in vaccination levels even after the negative objections have been cleared, making society increasingly vulnerable to disease outbreaks.

“The coverage of measles vaccination has only gradually climbed up, but still remains insufficient, for more than a decade following the infamous MMR vaccination and autism controversy.” Chen concludes.

“Vaccination levels in a population can drop quickly, but, because of hysteresis, the recovery in that same population can take many years.”

By identifying the hysteresis effect in vaccination, the research team hopes that public health officials can design campaigns that increase voluntary vaccination rates, particularly by promoting vaccination as an altruistic behaviour that is desired by moral and social norms.


  1. Right…. because we naturally feel safer getting sick and healing, then injecting poison into our bodies… the human body has an immune system because we were built to get sick. Not fight to the brink of an autistic and sick world to prevent it.

      • No they don’t. They put it overdrive and cause all kinds of Immune responses including autoimmune issues. Check the real inserts and tell me if anything in those vaccines are healthy. Unless you think heavy metal, DNA from humans, animals and insects are what you want in your body. Next to formaldehyde, polysorbate 80 and cancer cells, which are wonderful additions to your system.

      • LOL! They do not ‘boost” the immune system— they actually overextend and overexcite it And every system in the body. Now, vitamins can boost your immune system. You absolute weapon!

      • This is another reality-twisting propaganda piece by the pharmaceutical industry. Healtheuropa, you should be ashamed of publishing such blatant pseudoscience.

  2. The reason people are questioning vaccines is educated people are doing their research. Why aren’t people getting a flu shot because when they look at the ingredients 30% of the multidose flu shots contain mercury as a preservative. Also they are not effective.
    Flu vaccine : 630% more “aerosolized flu virus particles” emitted by people who received flu shots… flu vaccines actually SPREAD the flu
    A l new scientific study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) finds that people who receive flu shots emit 630% more flu virus particles into the air, compared to non-vaccinated individuals. In effect, this finding documents evidence that flu vaccines spread the flu, and that so-called “herd immunity” is a medical hoax because “the herd” is actually transformed into carriers and spreaders of influenza.

    The finding is documented in a study entitled Infectious virus in exhaled breath of symptomatic seasonal influenza cases from a college community. The study authors are Jing Yan, Michael Grantham, Jovan Pantelic, P. Jacob Bueno de Mesquita, Barbara Albert, Fengjie Liu, Sheryl Ehrman, Donald K. Milton and EMIT Consortium.

  3. Has the writer of this article done any research or just parroting the usual put out by vaccine manufacturers.
    Mandatory vaccines to increase the profits of the vaccine manufacturers. Where are the studies that show vaccines are safe. The last study that the CDC did was 10 years ago and this is what the chief scientist said about those studies:

    “My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I have worked since 1998,” Thompson stated in August 2014 on the law firm’s website. “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”

    “Here’s what I shoulder. I shoulder that the CDC has put the research ten years behind. Because the CDC has not been transparent, we’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They’re not doing what they should be doing because they’re afraid to look for things that might be associated. So anyway, there’s still a lot of shame with that. So when I talk to a person like you who has to live with this day in and day out, I say well, so I have to deal with a few months of hell if all this becomes public, um, no big deal. I’m not having to deal with a child who is suffering day in and day out. So that’s the way I view all this. I’m completely ashamed of what I did. So that’s that.”

    • Here are some further quotes from William Thompson:
      “I want to be absolutely clear that I believe vaccines have saved and continue to save countless lives. I would never suggest that any parent avoid vaccinating children of any race. Vaccines prevent serious diseases, and the risks associated with their administration are vastly outweighed by their individual and societal benefits.”

      “The fact that we found a strong statistically significant finding among black males does not mean that there was a true association between the MMR vaccine and autism-like features in this subpopulation.”

  4. Vaccines do cause autism – this has recently been proven:
    In 2007, Yates Hazlehurst’ father whose son developed severe autism after vaccination sued over his son’s injuries in the little known Federal Vaccine court. It was one of more than 5000 vaccine autism claims.
    In 2007, Yates’ case and nearly all the other vaccine autism claims lost. The decision was based largely on the expert opinion of this man, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a world-renowned pediatric neurologist.
    Dr. Zimmerman was the government’s top expert witness and had testified that vaccines didn’t cause autism. The debate was declared over.
    But now Dr. Zimmerman has provided remarkable new information. He claims that during the vaccine hearings all those years ago, he privately told government lawyers that vaccines can, and did cause autism in some children and in the case of Hannah Poling, Dr Zimmerman testified that her autism was the result of vaccination triggering a rare mitochondrial disorder. Hannah Poling was awarded $20 million dollars but a gag order was put in place. That turnabout from the government’s own chief medical expert stood to change everything about the vaccine-autism debate. If the public were to find out.
    Kennedy: This panicked the two DOJ attorneys and they immediately fired Zimmerman. That was on a Friday and over the weekend they called Zimmerman and said his services would no longer be needed. They wanted to silence him.
    Kennedy: This was one of the most consequential frauds, arguably in human history.
    Kennedy was instrumental in convincing Dr. Zimmerman to document his remarkable claim of the government covering up his true expert opinion on vaccines and autism.
    Days after the Department of Justice lawyers fired Dr. Zimmerman as their expert witness, he alleges, they went on to misrepresent his opinion to continue to debunk autism claims. Records show that on June 18, 2007, a DOJ attorney Dr. Zimmerman spoke to told vaccine court, “We know [Dr. Zimmerman’s] views on the issue…There is no scientific basis for a connection” between vaccines and autism. Dr. Zimmerman now calls that “highly misleading.”
    The former DOJ lawyer didn’t return our calls and emails. Kennedy has filed a fraud complaint with the Justice Department Inspector General, who told us they don’t “comment on investigations or potential investigations.”
    Meantime, CDC—which promotes vaccines and monitors vaccine safety– never disclosed that the government’s own one-time medical expert concluded vaccines can cause autism – and to this day public health officials deny that’s the case.

    • Dr. Andrew Zimmerman Has now written and affidavit of truth stating the findings were FALSE and vaccinations do cause autism among many other things one of which is death.Vaccines kill and damage which is the real reason people do not want to vaccinate.

  5. I developed lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and a whole host of autoimmune diseases/side effects of the Gardasil HPV vaccine. I was supposed to be protected from cervical cancer but instead had a hysterectomy for CERVICAL CANCER at 24!
    The two children at had at age 19 and 23 both developed normally with normal genetic results. I haven’t heard my oldest son speak for 7 years as he is now completely non verbal, violent self injurious meltdowns after his MMR vaccine and in diapers forever requiring my care with SEVERE AUTISM. I delayed vaccines with my second child. It did not make a difference. He would clap and shout “good job” interrupting our church sermon only to be silenced and regress into severe autism after MMR. Vaccines are not one size fits all, they have not been proven safe!

  6. Hysteresis Loop? Think of receiving vaccines as altruistic behavior? Are they listening to themselves? The BS meter went off the charts with this piece of drivel. Wow. Just wow! This article would be laughable if the consequences of injecting neurotoxins weren’t so deadly.

  7. “The sheer force of factual, logical arguments around public health issues is just not enough to overcome hysteresis and human behaviour.”

    Vaccine-savvy folks are still waiting for those “factual, logical arguments”. We have not heard them yet.

  8. There seem to be two forces opposing the open examination of the links between Vaccination and Autism. The first is the belief by many people that the impact of vaccines is so overwhelmingly positive that any negatives (which are presumed to be minor) should be ignored/downplayed for the greater good. The second is determined groupthink by the medical establishment, governments and the pharmaceutical companies who have so much to lose if a proper investigation of the issue demonstrated that the cost:benefit ratio looked nothing like how they present it.
    Whatever the truth is will be very hard to find out because there are many people and institutions who are determined to prevent proper investigations happening. Simultaneously, as further evidence accumulates showing how aluminium in vaccines causes inflammation in the brain, the options of parents to not have their children vaccinated are increasingly attacked.
    The article is a good example of how the media promote the official line whilst ignoring the most important issues: the documented exponential increase in ASD and the conviction of many parents of children with neurological disorders that these were caused by vaccinations – for which scientific evidence continues to grow.

  9. Sorry to refute, as I see many strong feelings on this subject, some may have personal experiences & are founded, but many are not. I did read the Jan 19 by Goldy with interest & was glad she included & cited published sources. However, the sources do not say what she represents them to state, not at all. I read the entire study & am familiar with reading studies of this type. I have a medical & a science background. The source simply measures infectious flu viral particles & droplet size in college students with seasonal flu. There is no mention of what she states, it is a false & unfounded conclusion not based on the content of the article. The link is active in Goldy’s post, & please read for yourselves. I copied the name, authors & link from her post below, but my link didn’t activate.
    “The finding is documented in a study entitled Infectious virus in exhaled breath of symptomatic seasonal influenza cases from a college community. The study authors are Jing Yan, Michael Grantham, Jovan Pantelic, P. Jacob Bueno de Mesquita, Barbara Albert, Fengjie Liu, Sheryl Ehrman, Donald K. Milton and EMIT Consortium.”


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