Science on Tap: “Shots for Spots and Want-It-Nots: Measles, Measles Vaccine, and Refusers”

Science on Tap

The recent measles outbreak stemming from exposures at Disneyland has focused attention on this disease that was eliminated from the United States in 2000. Karie Youngdahl, director of the History of Vaccines project, put the current outbreak in historical context by looking at the epidemiology of measles over time and attempts at immunizing for measles from the mid-1700s. She also discussed resistance to vaccination and the ways that arguments against vaccines have been made by anti-vaccinators from Edward Jenner’s time to now.

About the speaker

Karie Youngdahl is the director of the award-winning History of Vaccines project, found online at The site offers historical and contemporary information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases with the aim of exploring the impact vaccines have had on human health. It also features a blog that covers emerging issues. The History of Vaccines is a project of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional medical society in the United States. ​

This month’s event was hosted by the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia

About Science on Tap

Science on Tap is a monthly science café in Philadelphia for anyone interested in getting together with other people to discuss a range of engaging science topics. It is held the second Monday of (most) every month.