Vaccines in Sci-Fi

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Any vaccines related themes in sci-fi?

I'm thinking what if majority of the world was vaccinated against covid-19. Then 2 years later, there are side effects of say infertility or neurological deficit or slow death. It can decimate the world's population leaving only some hidden population in the amazon jungle.
 

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  • #2
BillTre
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The Wars of the Worlds involves the invading Martians not having a functional vaccine.
One could argue this leads to their downfall.
 
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  • #3
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The Wars of the Worlds involves the invading Martians not having a functional vaccine.
One could argue this leads to their downfall.

The one by Tom Cruise is good and I think I may watch it again.

If you want to invade a planet. What faster way to make all take trojan horse "vaccine" (meant to destroy them) by first introducing a virus like covid-19. So this idea can be used in movies or even by malevolent extra solar evil federation to conquer worlds.

So I want to watch Star Trek with this ideas. Any episodes in mind?
 
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BillTre
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The War of the Worlds is a book written in by H. G. Wells in just before 1900.
However, the book may still be more realistic than the film.
You may want read it.

A similar lack of ability to deal with diseases of an area limited european colonizaion of Africa for a while.
 
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256bits
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Johnny Mnemonic was of a cure related theme.
 
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Any vaccines related themes in sci-fi?

I'm thinking what if majority of the world was vaccinated against covid-19. Then 2 years later, there are side effects of say infertility or neurological deficit or slow death. It can decimate the world's population leaving only some hidden population in the amazon jungle.

An antivaxxer's wet dream - Survival of the stupidest?
 
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  • #7
hmmm27
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Any vaccines related themes in sci-fi?

I'm thinking what if majority of the world was vaccinated against covid-19. Then 2 years later, there are side effects of say infertility or neurological deficit or slow death. It can decimate the world's population leaving only some hidden population in the amazon jungle.

Stargate SG-1, episodes "2010" and "2001" : alien race with wondertech/drugs (and a hidden agenda) gives Earth a lifespan doubling medicine, that later is proven to be the cause of mass sterilization and depopulation.

James Blish "Cities in Flight" - anti-aging medicines are currency.

There are quite a few more, but frankly actual human civilizations' histories have plenty of examples.
 
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If you want to invade a planet. What faster way to make all take trojan horse "vaccine" (meant to destroy them) by first introducing a virus like covid-19.

That reminds me of Rainbow Six.
 
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If you want to invade a planet. What faster way to make all take trojan horse "vaccine" (meant to destroy them) by first introducing a virus like covid-19. So this idea can be used in movies or even by malevolent extra solar evil federation to conquer worlds.

This line of thinking perplexes me a little. So some kind of creature has the tech to travel across the stars and they want to invade a planet, and the best they can come up with is somehow duping an entire population into taking a vaccine and then waiting for the population to die out because they are sterile?

Wouldn't they just engineer a virus to do the dirty work? Or orbital bombardment, or poisonous gases or any other number of ways to extinguish life without doing too much damage?
 
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hmmm27
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This line of thinking perplexes me a little. So some kind of creature has the tech to travel across the stars and they want to invade a planet, and the best they can come up with is somehow duping an entire population into taking a vaccine and then waiting for the population to die out because they are sterile?

Wouldn't they just engineer a virus to do the dirty work? Or orbital bombardment, or poisonous gases or any other number of ways to extinguish life without doing too much damage?

In the Stargate franchise episodes I referred to a few posts upstream, the "victim" planets end up as agricultural provinces.

When the Europeans gave the First Nations peoples old blankets to use - riddled with smallpox (and since I wasn't there I have no idea if it was deliberate or not) - the upshot was not devastation of the land.
 
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In Will Jenkins [1] "Symbiosis", an invaded country sees off its conquerers by giving their *own* people a "vaccine" which makes them asymptotic caarriers of a deadly plague, Later they all have to be re-vaccinated so that they can mix with foreigners again.

[1] aka Murray Leinster
 
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Keith_McClary
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I'm thinking what if majority of the world was vaccinated against covid-19. Then 2 years later, there are side effects of say infertility or neurological deficit or slow death. It can decimate the world's population leaving only some hidden population in the amazon jungle.
The way it's going now, only the wealthy and powerful countries will be vaccinated in 2 years.
 
  • #13
Buzz Bloom
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I recently read and enjoyed Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992), winner of both Hugo and Nebula. It takes place in 2050 and is about an accidental time travel to 1348 (Black Death era) rather than to 1320. Lots of vaccines discussed.
 
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Honestly, this thread shows how drama must fundamentally disagree with reality. It's hard to write a drama about a vaccine that works properly and does more good than harm, because there is no conflict at that point. The closest you could get is a story about the people developing or distributing the vaccine. Or people trying to get it or trying to stop others from getting it.
 
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The closest you could get is a story about the people developing or distributing the vaccine. Or people trying to get it or trying to stop others from getting it.
Or people trying to weaponise it (e.g. in Tom Clancy's Operation Rainbow).
 
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Peter Hamilton’s new Saints trilogy has an interesting take on the aliens ‘giving’ humans medical technology
 
  • #17
Keith_McClary
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Or people trying to get it or trying to stop others from getting it.
Or hoarding it while accusing those who share it of "vaccine diplomacy".
 
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  • #18
russ_watters
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Note to all, this is a year-old reincarnation of the thread.
Honestly, this thread shows how drama must fundamentally disagree with reality. It's hard to write a drama about a vaccine that works properly and does more good than harm, because there is no conflict at that point. The closest you could get is a story about the people developing or distributing the vaccine. Or people trying to get it or trying to stop others from getting it.
Disagree. I'm not sure I've ever seen a movie about a failed vaccine that causes long-term side effects (per the OP's vibe) or people fighting over vaccines (per recent posts), but I've seen a few relatively recent movies about vaccines saving the day. What would be rare is a movie focusing on the science of vaccine development, production and distribution, because that would be boring.

Contagion (2011), starring Matt Damon, is downright creepy in it's parallels to COVID-19, and I highly recommend it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contagion_(2011_film)

Outbreak (1995), starring Dustin Hoffman and Cuba Gooding Jr (something of an Andromeda Strain ripoff), is about developing a vaccine for an ebola-like virus, but there's a lot less gunfire, helicopter air-to-air battles and fuel-air-explosives in modern pharmaceutical R&D than is depicted in the movie...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outbreak_(film)

These are realistic, "hard" science fiction movies.

Here's a top 10 list:
https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/g32419194/pandemic-movies/

Zombie apocalypse movies are popular these days and a few of them include the possibility of recovery with new medicines/vaccines. These are less realistic of course, but still:

World War Z (2013), starring Brad Pitt:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_Z_(film)

I Am Legend, 2004, Will Smith:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Legend_(film)

The Last Ship; TV, 2014 has a little bit of a fighting-over-the-vaccine theme in the first season:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_Last_Ship_episodes#Season_1_(2014)
 
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  • #20
stefan r
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...

When the Europeans gave the First Nations peoples old blankets to use - riddled with smallpox (and since I wasn't there I have no idea if it was deliberate or not) - the upshot was not devastation of the land.
There is evidence that fabric from a small pox clinic was given. Not much evidence of where exactly epidemics in native communities originated.

Genocidal intent is not in doubt. Every state (and colony) had scalp bounties on the books. We have records of legislatures debating the topic. We have records of the bounties being paid. Many states repealed scalp bounties and the recorded debate was focused on budget shortfall. The state legislatures reestablished the scalp bounties and the argument in favor was popular demand. We only doubt whether the European settlers successfully demonstrated the technical capability of implementing biological warfare.
 
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hard to do systematic biological warfare without a germ theory of disease

European diseases outpaced European settlers, most native Americans were wiped out long before white people arrived. This susceptibility motivated the importation of African slaves which possesses resistance to both European and tropical diseases
 
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Pretty certain that the movie "I am Legend" was based on the idea that a failed vaccine led to everyone becoming vampires (they don't explain that they're vampires in the movie, they make them zombie-monsters who burn in sunlight).
 
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