Paris — A rising tide of suspicion amplified by social networks has eroded public trust in modern medicine, leaving scientists and health officials scrambling for ways to shore up its credibility, experts say. Especially in rich nations, faith has waned in vaccines that have saved millions from the ravages of polio, tetanus, small pox, influenza and many other once rampant and deadly diseases. "The level of confidence is not what it was 20 years ago," French immunologist Alain Fischer told AFP. "It is crumbling." The scale of suspicion is startling. A survey conducted by the British Academy of Medical Sciences last year found that only 37% of Britons trusted evidence from medical research. Two-thirds cited friends and family as more reliable. A quarter of 1,500 parents polled in the US in 2017 believed that vaccines can cause autism in healthy children, despite a complete lack of credible evidence. One in 10 had refused to give their offspring at least one vaccine. In France, meanwh...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now