Don’t link an vaccination topic on social media in Germany


Don’t put a link about the topic „vaccination“ on social media. It starts a battle. At least in Germany. I posted on Facebook. I should have known better.

There are two sides firmly convinced standing on the right side. On the one side the wisdom of the conventional medicine who claims one of the greatest achievement of mankind banning most of deadly epidemics, on the other side an anti-immunization community, well-connected, who blame the conventional medicine for vaccination damages. (Is this battle a typically german phenomenon?)

But to say it clear: In Germany both sides aren’t the same size. People who are against vaccination are a clear minority. Approximately 1 to 2 percent are against vaccination says Dorothea Matysiak-Klose from the Robert-Koch-Institut in Berlin, responsible for disease control and prevention in Germany. And: Immunisation coverage is still high in Germany.

On the other side: The failure of vaccinations is its success. So vaccination fatigue could grow in the future. Also there is a „free-rider“ problem which is that the people not being vaccinated benefit from the vaccinated ones, because the more people are vaccinated the more unlikely is an epidemic. From that lower risk everbody benefits. In economic terms: There is an incentive not to be vaccinated.

Dem Pixelökonom auf Facebook, Twitter, Google+ folgen oder RSS-Feed abonnieren.

Von Johannes Eber

In Berlin living economist, senior consultant at Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) and co-founder of the media agency Solokarpfen.

2 Antworten auf „Don’t link an vaccination topic on social media in Germany“

Don’t provide any incentives to immunisation deniers, because „Free-riding“ does not benefit anyone. The size of an epidemic is positively correlated with the percentage of vaccine refusers. For educational purposes, try it yourself (link to an interactive game): http://vax.herokuapp.com/
The more people refuse vaccination, the more devastating an epidemic will be, once it happens. Especially dangerous are communities of vaccination refusers, when they are in close contact to each other. One infection is enough to affect the entire community and then spread the epidemic from multiple starters, rather than just a few isolated individuals.
Any person, or group of families, that denies vacciniation, only marginally increases the overall risk of an epidemic. But once an epidemic breaks out, it will spread faster and hit many more people, the overall risk of infection for the entire population rises dramatically.

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