With increasing vaccine injury fears and the growing anti-vaccination movement, it is easy to forget the good that vaccines have done in eradicating disease from society. A new collection of artwork commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is designed to remind people of the important role vaccines continue to play.
The Art of Saving a Life showcases the talents of 30 renowned artists including actress Mia Farrow and photographer Annie Leibovitz as well as international painters, sculptors, photographers, writers and musicians whose inspiration pieces demonstrate the positive effect vaccines have had on human history.
Mia Farrow drew her inspiration from her own experiences. As a child, she was diagnosed with polio and her 10-yer old son was paralyzed by the disease. Farrow’s photographic piece captures the strength and determination of a Sudanese woman living with polio.
A healthcare worker in Nepal carrying a box of vaccines on her shoulder inspired German painter Thomas Ganter’s Unknown Health Worker, which represents the people in every country working to provide life saving services and immunizations.
Other pieces include a sculpture by British artist Katharine Dowson representing the HIV virus intertwined with antibodies and a photo by Alexia Sinclair recreating Dr. Edward Jenner inoculating James Phipps in the 18th century with the first smallpox vaccine.
“The Art of Saving a Life showcases the remarkable history of vaccines, their impact saving lives today, and their potential to save the lives of even more children from infectious diseases,” Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, told ABC News.
Concerns about severe vaccine adverse reactions such as Guillain-Barre flu shot injuries often prevent people from wanting to get vaccinated. Such severe vaccine reactions are extremely rare, and the majority of recipients benefit from vaccines. Forgoing important vaccines may put an individual at an even greater risk for developing deadly diseases.