This article was translated from German
In the past few weeks, a virus has clearly shown us how vulnerable our modern world is. It is hard to believe for many people today that a tiny pathogen can actually be so dangerous. It is not so long ago that infectious diseases such as smallpox, polio or diptheria haunted mankind regularly and claimed many lives.
We owe the fact that we are largely spared this today to a crucial medical development: vaccination. Many vaccinations, such as those against tetanus and whooping cough, which are taken for granted today - at least in western industrialized nations - are just under a hundred years old.
But not everyone sees this as progress, as the debate about measles vaccine has shown in recent years. For the opponents, the infectious disease, from which roughly every thousandth dies, is a harmless childhood disease that one should go through - it is said to be important for the immune system. For this purpose, some parents even let their healthy children meet highly infectious sick people at so-called measles parties. In addition, vaccination would have many side effects. These are just two popular arguments for the opponents of vaccination.