The aim of this article is to study the discursive construction of disability that takes place in the vaccine-autism controversy from the 1990s to 2000s, and an attempt to develop a more holistic framework to understand vaccine decisions and their motivations. It is argued that the debate over vaccines produces knowledge and meanings about disability, and that the vaccine-autism controversy is kept alive largely because of how it reproduces stigmatising accounts of disability and autism. The suggestion is that if the stigmatising elements of disability were removed in the debate over vaccines, there would be no controversy to keep alive in the broader vaccine debate. Hence, this article is an attempt to increase disability cultural competence in the media and among health authorities and health professionals and therethrough broaden the shared understanding of what it means to be or become disabled. By investigating the driving forces for past vaccine controversies, the goal is to find more constructive ways forward in present day and future debates over vaccines.