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Vaccination, Anti-Vaccination Movements: Do More Harm than Good

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Official data in SubjectManager for the following academic year: 2020-2021

Course director

Dr. Katalin SZENDI (szkata82@yahoo.co.uk), assistant professor

Department of Public Health Medicine

Subject data

Code of subject: OPF-VVE-T  |  1 credit  |  Pharmacy |  Optional module  |  spring

Prerequisites: -

Number of hours/semester

12 lectures + 0 practices + 0 seminars = total of 12 hours

Course headcount limitations

min. 5 – max. 30 person


Vaccination belongs to one of the most successful modern health care programmes that decreased significantly the number of severe infectious diseases. In today's world experts are unable to compete with the media. Several delusions circulate infiltrating the public opinion related to vaccines. The most susceptible target audience of these beliefs are the half-educated laymen who believe in the media created pseudoscience. The activity of stubborn anti-vaccine minorities can be dangerous because that may open up new chances of the spread of infectious diseases.
The objective of the course is to deepen the knowledge of vaccinations concerning the background, benefits, achievements and failures, and the course also serves as a thought provoking initiation for practitioners relating to possible actions against the anti-vaccination movements.


  • 1. History of vaccines and anti-vaccination movements - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 2. Epidemiology of infectious diseases, morbidity and mortality rates before and after vaccine introduction. Is there any benefit of vaccination? - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 3. Epidemiological studies on vaccination, are there any at all? - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 4. Morbidity, mortality, incidence, prevalence. Statistics, data availability, official sources. Are there enough and reliable data to prove the effectiveness or safety of vaccines? - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 5. Groups of vaccinations. Why are they compulsory? - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 6. Types of vaccinations. Are there any unnecessary ones (e.g. BCG)? Is it possible that the only purpose of the pharmaceutical industry is to increase their profits? - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 7. The function of vaccination, types of immunity. Is artificial induction of immunity good for our immune system? Does it result in more benefits if the diseases are fought off in a natural way? - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 8. The efficiency of vaccines. Do the European countries with better health indicators also have better epidemiological situation than Hungary? Questions of herd immunity. - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 9. Vaccine effectiveness. Are there any positive health effects, or just does the government want to make us believe in counterfeit statistical data? - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 10. Vaccination safety, components. Are the ingredients in vaccines dangerous? Do they cause any harm to health? Diversity of conspiracy theories - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 11. Risks of vaccines, vaccination health hazards. Do the vaccines do more harm than good? MMR and autism. Mercury and autism. Aluminium and autism. - Dr. Szendi Katalin
  • 12. Anti-vaccination activities in Hungary and abroad - Dr. Szendi Katalin



Reading material

Obligatory literature

Literature developed by the Department

Educational material uploaded on Neptun.


Recommended literature

Stanley A. Plotkin. History of Vaccine Development. Springer 2011.
Vaccine Fact Book 2013. http://www.phrma.org/sites/default/files/pdf/PhRMA_Vaccine_FactBook_2013.pdf
WHO, UNICEF, World Bank. State of the world's vaccines and immunization, 3rd ed., Geneva, World Health Organization, 2009.

Conditions for acceptance of the semester

Participation in lectures and practicals is obligatory which is registered.
Absences should not exceed 15% (2x45 min). Otherwise signature of grade book is denied.

Mid-term exams


Making up for missed classes

There are no make-up classes.

Exam topics/questions



Instructor / tutor of practices and seminars

  • Dr. Szendi Katalin