Vaccine policy-making meetings, advisory committees, and legislative hearings at the local, state, and national levels have become increasingly uncivil. Many who object to vaccines have resorted to shouting, threats, and other disruptive behaviors.1 These behaviors erode the premise of civil society and undermine the goals of most vaccine-hesitant persons, who are thoughtful and law abiding. Civil skepticism in public discussions about vaccine policy can lead to productive discussion. The science of vaccinology, like all science, has uncertainties; applying science in policy entails value judgments, and people can disagree on the implications of scientific evidence. Skepticism reminds all individuals that intellectual humility is important and reinforces the value of democratic debate and transparent procedure.
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Poland GA, Tilburt JC, Marcuse EK. Preserving Civility in Vaccine Policy Discourse: A Way Forward. JAMA. Published online June 21, 2019322(3):209–210. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.7445
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