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The 220-year history of the anti-vaccine movement, in 3 minutes

Cow pus. Vaccines started from cow pus. And it was that very fact that caused people to reject them over 200 years ago.

During the last decade, the most notable types of anti-vaxxers have claimed that autism and other "profound mental disorders" can be linked to vaccines. This theory was popularized by the British physician-resesearcher Andrew Wakefield in a paper he published in The Lancet, and has since been thoroughly discredited. The Lancet fully retracted the study in 2010.

Retracted data from Andrew Wakefield's study.

Fast forward to today and vaccine-deniers of all stripes have emerged. Many groups, from the Amish of Ohio to Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, have cited religious differences or medical concerns as their reason for not getting vaccinated.

U.S residents with measles who were unvaccinated, by reasons for not receiving measles vaccine

But religious differences or concerns over side effects aren't the only reasons that people avoid vaccines. A survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that anti-vaxxers are more common among millennials rather than older generations. Many of these young adults believe that vaccinations should be a parental choice rather than a federal or state mandate.

Watch the video above to learn more about the weird and fascinating history of the anti-vaxxer movement.

Read more:

  1. The vaccine delayers: they hate anti-vaxxers but don't quite vaccinate their kids
  2. How an Amish missionary caused 2014's massive measles outbreak
  3. 9 things everybody should know about measles

Watch next: Vaccines do not cause autism, they save lives