During the last week of April, it was National Immunization Awareness Week in Canada and World Immunization Week around the world. In honor of these events and in the face of widespread anti-vaccine hysteria, many are taking the time to explore and illustrate the positive impact vaccines have had on society.
The images below in particular, created by the Wall Street Journal last year, track the rate of the spread of infectious diseases throughout the 20th century in the United States. The black line represents the moment a vaccine was introduced for a particular disease, and the difference beyond that line is stunning.
In cases where a disease was widespread, the introduction of an accessible vaccine shows a stunning change in pattern. It’d be interesting to see how vaccine denialists interpret this kind of data.
Featured image:Rachna Mehra (Flickr) All other images courtesy of the Washington Post