The Place of Big Data in Addressing Emerged Issues in Vaccinology of the 21st Century


  • Gordana Pelčić Department of Social Sciences and Medical Humanities, School of Medicine, University of Rijeka; Health Care Center of Primorsko-Goranska County
  • Salvador Ribas
  • Anamarija Gjuran Coha
  • Ivana Tucak
  • Suzana Vuletić
  • Silvana Pavlinovic
  • Ana Valkovic


Vaccinology, as a great achievement of public health of the 20th century nowadays faces doubts, questions, and concerns that could be included in the term of vaccine hesitancy. The vaccinology in the 21st century is marked by the emerging anti-vaccine movements followed by a variety of attempts and approaches of professionals to resolve them. The globalization in health care on the one side and great technological achievements, on the other, create the possibilities where an enormous amount of data is publicly available. The professionals have based the benefits of vaccination on scientific data. Vaccine hesitancy and anti-vaccine movements declare that they have also based their policy on scientific data. On the first line of facing parental vaccine hesitancy are primary care pediatricians. They can testify their ownlimiting abilities to do so, as well as the limiting abilities of other professionals involved in vaccinology. In the situation of an enormous amount of data, they could be drowned out and interpreted in various ways. It is clear that the old-fashioned “defense” of the great public achievement of the 20 century - vaccinology - is no longer appropriate. On the other hand, a search of the literature shows the entry of “Big Data” into medicine in general and the public health and vaccinology. This paper attempts to position the role of Big Data (its benefits, traps, and ethical implications) in vaccinology in the 21st century based on the literature research and our propositions.

Keywords: vaccinology, Big Data, ethics of Big Data, immunization practices.