August 14, 2017
University of New England Vice President for Clinical Affairs Dora Anne Mills, M.D., M.P.H, FAAP, was a guest on an episode of Maine Public’s radio show “Maine Calling” about the history of vaccines.
Mills discussed the efficacy of vaccines and how UNE is educating future physicians about vaccines. She also provided a historical perspective on anti-vaccine movements, specifically in Maine. She said that during her time as a pediatrician in Maine, many grandparents had direct experience with the diseases the vaccines were developed to prevent, such as measles and polio. She said today’s lack of experience with these devastating illnesses coupled with the rise of the Internet has fueled the anti-vaccine movement.
“Most children’s grandparents, even, don’t have any sort of memory or experience with the diseases,” Mills said. “So I think the combination of that plus a lot of misinformation and challenges of trying to figure out what I should believe on the Internet have snowballed to have an effect on parents’ ability to make informed decisions."
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