One factor that drives [vaccine refusal] is a preference for alternative medicine and a holistic lifestyle…Part of such a holistic view is usually a picture of the immune system as an integrated system that is naturally balanced and easily disturbed by human interference.
What is interesting about this view is that recent developments in the life sciences, in particular, research on the microbiome, seem to support it….Anti-vaccination activists have picked up on these developments, claiming, for instance, that a person with a “natural” microbiome does not require vaccination.
Their argument is not so much about integration and a holistic view of the body but rather about the distinction between nature and culture: immunization is presented as an artificial (read: unnatural) interference with a naturally balanced system.
But while virome research shows that we live with microbes and depend on them in different ways, it also shows that the nature-culture distinction is thoroughly misguided. Our new understanding of the virome has taught us that there is no “natural” virome that forms the essence of a healthy human body; each person has his or her own virome (and microbiomes more generally)
The ELP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Opinion: The Virome and the Anti-vaccination Debate