Distrust of medicine and the pharmaceutical industry feeds vaccine skepticism

DThe arguments between supporters of the corona policy and opponents of vaccination are becoming more acute from week to week. In Freiburg, 6,000 opponents of vaccination recently demonstrated that their march route should first lead past the university hospital, one of the clinics in Germany whose doctors and nurses have been fighting for the lives of corona patients every day since the beginning of the pandemic due to the high number of patients. Many employees at the clinic were outraged. The example shows how great the rejection of the pandemic policy and the vaccination campaign is now.

There are many reasons for the burgeoning of protest and resistance: the length of the pandemic, overly optimistic promises by politicians, increasing economic and psychological stress on people. But in the discussion about vaccination and the introduction of a general obligation to vaccinate, a widespread phenomenon becomes apparent: mistrust of knowledge-based medicine and the pharmaceutical industry has been deeply rooted in the population for decades.

Google knowledge and “gentle medicine”

For many, even before the pandemic, it was often a matter of course to first resort to herbal or homeopathic remedies for illnesses, to distrust doctors and to expect more from Google knowledge and “gentle medicine” than from a specialist. According to surveys, only a quarter of Germans trust conventional medicine without reservation. The love for globules and wholemeal bread is trendy. The manufacturers make a three-digit million turnover with homeopathic medicines every year.

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In purely quantitative terms, social media and the Internet have led to an oversupply of information about diseases and also to the rapid spread of dangerous false information. Every family doctor fights against advice from “Dr. Google”. Of course, there are also good reasons for the increased skepticism about high-performance medicine: the economic pressure in the clinics, highly complex forms of therapy, the gruff tone of the sometimes overwhelmed clinic staff or the mechanization of medicine.


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