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The MMR vaccine: Public health, private fears

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A decade ago, the possibility of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism hit the media. Fear of the vaccine spread rapidly and, despite an almost unanimous consensus that the claim was unfounded, still persists today. In this free course, The MMR vaccine: Public health, private fears, we'll examine why this controversy took on such a life of its own and why parents still agonise about the vaccine.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand more of the scientific factors that relate to the dispute about the safety of the MMR vaccine in the UK
  • assess the strength of arguments for and against the use of the MMR vaccine
  • show how issues of risk, trust, communication and media representation of science and medicine have a strong bearing on public perception of the MMR vaccine
  • explain why there is such a strong consensus amongst the medical profession testifying to the safety of the MMR vaccine.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 20 hours
  • Updated Wednesday 2nd March 2016
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Health Sciences
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The MMR vaccine: Public health, private fears


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The MMR dispute is of enormous public significance and this course helps unravel why this has been an area of such dispute.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of postgraduate study in Science [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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