‘NOVA’ takes science’s side in vaccine debate | Science News

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‘NOVA’ takes science’s side in vaccine debate

TV show dissects concerns and sets facts straight about vaccinations

12:00pm, August 23, 2014

STAYING HEALTHY  This infant in Australia might have avoided whooping cough if vaccination rates in the surrounding population had been higher.

In some quarters, vaccines have become victims of their own success. Having suppressed the diseases they target, vaccines have left room for people to worry more about the shot than the illness. In response, the TV series NOVA offers an engrossing, evenhanded documentary, one that would never have been made 55 years ago, when people were happily lining up around the block to get polio shots.

Distrust of vaccines means that California today has an epidemic of whooping cough and Britain and France have faced bouts with measles. Some parents delay or skip vaccines mistakenly thinking they’re protecting their kids from autism or other problems. “Vaccines — Calling the Shots” dispels this nonsense.

Building the science from the bottom up, the filmmakers use nifty animation to show how a shot whips the immune system into action, putting memory cells on

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