Book presentation: “Vaccinare i bambini tra obbligo e persuasione: 300 anni di controversie”.


On 18 March 2022 at 4.30pm in the Aula Magna of the University of Sassari (Piazza Università) Eugenia Tognotti's book "Vaccinare i bambini tra obbligo e persuasione: 300 anni di controversie. Il caso dell’Italia” will be presented.


The history of vaccines is perhaps one of the richest and most engaging chapters in medical history. From the discovery of the first smallpox vaccine in 1796 by Edward Jenner, until today with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of lives have been saved worldwide. However, despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of vaccination as a powerful life-saving weapon in the fight against infectious disease, there is still a discrepancy between the scientific evidence on the efficacy of vaccines and the perception of the risk attributed to them. Known as "Vaccine Hesitancy" this significant phenomenon refers to the delay in vaccine acceptance or the refusal of immunisation when vaccination services are available. Vaccine hesitancy is a historical phenomenon and now involves at least 15% of the general population, including groups of professionals in charge of vaccine promotion in primary prevention, such as health workers. This public health problem has registered - since 2014 - a continuously growing trend in 90% of the countries worldwide, so much so that it is listed in 2019 by the World Health Organisation as one of the ten greatest threats to global health. The anti-COVID-19 vaccination has also been affected by this phenomenon; on the one hand, heavily conditioning the achievement of the desired vaccination coverage, on the other hand, negatively influencing the adherence to the vaccination programmes promoted by the 'vaccination calendar for life'. This and much more will be discussed in the presentation of the book "Vaccinare i bambini tra obbligo e persuasione: 300 anni di controversie. Il caso dell’Italia" by Professor Eugenia Tognotti, Full Professor of History of Medicine and Human Sciences. The event will be held on 18 March 2022 at the Aula Magna of the University of Sassari (Piazza Università) at 4.30 p.m.

In the words of Professor Tognotti: "The book - which spans about three centuries of history and stops on the eve of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic and the appearance of vaccines against it - gives an approach free from current events and politicisation, showing that social resistance against vaccinations is not a recent phenomenon, as many believe, in the face of 'Vaccine Hesitancy'. Uncertainty, resistance, scepticism, outright rejection - motivated by doubts about safety and efficacy - accompany the history of vaccination. The introduction of mandatory vaccination has multiplied the niches of resistance. The reconstruction of the past highlights a paradox: vaccines are victims of their own success: the powerful results of the immunisation campaigns that have been in place for some time - and the drastic reduction in the incidence of serious infectious diseases (polio, hepatitis B, etc.) as well as highly lethal diseases (diphtheria, tetanus, meningitis, etc.) - have caused diseases that once sowed death to disappear, spreading the conviction of the uselessness of vaccines and amplifying fears of alleged side effects".

The welcoming address will be given by the authorities, first and foremost the Magnificent Rector, Prof. Gavino Mariotti, host of the event, which will be moderated by Prof. Alessandro Maida, Rector Emeritus of the University of Sassari. The book will be introduced by Prof. Walter Ricciardi, Scientific Advisor to the Minister for Health on the Coronavirus pandemic, and Prof. Paolo Castiglia, Professor of Hygiene, Co-Coordinator of the Anti-Covid-19 Vaccination Centre at the Sassari University Hospital.




Piazza Università - Aula Magna dell’Università degli Studi di Sassari

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