Measles, a highly contagious disease, is breaking out in various areas in the U.S, despite being highly preventable, thanks to vaccines. This and many other breakouts of diseases is a result of unvaccinated people and the parents who did not vaccinate them.
Vaccines have been around for hundreds of years; although historically, the first vaccines were more harmful than good, today’s vaccines are relatively safe, and our medical technology is highly advanced. But of course, any vaccine has the possibility of producing a reaction. The most common reactions are soreness in the injection site and a low-grade fever, but some severe reactions are what scare off parents, such as seizures. Yes, vaccines can cause a seizure, but it’s rare. One out of 3,000 people who get the MMR vaccine will have a seizure, and the chance of getting a seizure as a result of the DTaP vaccine is one in 14,000 people according to the CDC. These seizures are scary, especially when a baby experiences them, but they aren’t harmful. They are called febrile seizures and are caused by any type of fever, including a fever that was result of a vaccine. Most importantly, they don’t result in brain damage or learning disabilities according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Overall, the benefits outweigh the risks. The risk of vaccinating pales in comparison to the possible results of not vaccinating. Pertussis, or whooping cough, a disease which causes fits of coughing, kills one out of 100 people it infects. Or, Diphtheria a bacteria that kills one out of 10 people it infects,according to the CDC. These diseases and bacterias are thankfully preventable thanks to vaccines.
Still, there are many people who refuse to vaccinate their child either for religious or philosophical reasons. The anti-vax movement, although not new, has been growing in popularity. And what anti-vaxers don’t understand is that their choice puts others at risk. Children who for medical reasons can’t get vaccinations are put at risk when they come in contact with an unvaccinated child who is sick, or cancer patients going through chemo, or even the elderly who have weakened immune systems. Herd communities or herd immunities keep these people from contracting these diseases. Herd immunity is where a largely vaccinated population helps keep the spread of diseases at bay. This is crucial, because not only do individuals keep themselves safe when they vaccinate, but they keep their community safe.
Preventable diseases are nearly gone because of vaccines, but they have a chance to come back because of people who choose to not vaccinate. It’s simply irresponsible to not vaccinate your child simply because you don’t want to. It can hurt you, your children, and your community.
Sometimes I wonder how the world has changed since my parents and grandparents childhood. I think about the things they say and do that many would consider old school, like vaccinations. They are pointless and put unnecessary chemicals into one’s body.
In the past, people were fine without all the shots we have today. The world and its inhabitants survived for thousands of years without vaccines. Many illnesses that we have today did not exist in the past, and technology has prevented them from spreading. Vaccinations work by injecting a strand of the antibody into the body which is just as much a risk. Many people respond badly to vaccinations because all bodies are different. People could get ill or have an allergic reaction to the chemicals.
While some vaccines may help, there are many things that can’t be prevented by a simple injection. People still catch the flu each year because the wrong strand is treated for or an unexpected case comes up. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine is 40-60% ineffective, which is a large number of people not being treated properly.
Most of the vaccines used today are new and contain data that has not had enough time to show overall effects. Some people can not be vaccinated due to other health conditions like immune suppression.Vaccinations also do not last forever and you have to get treated again at other ages. This makes one wonder at what exactly it is doing to your body. If the effects are not long term, what promises that they will work in the immediate future.
Religion also plays a role in if you get vaccinated or not. Some religions think vaccinating is a sin because it is “opposing God of his punishment due to your sins.” For example, the Reformed Dutch Congregation has an objection to vaccinations. They decline immunization because it “interferes with divine provinces.” People should respect other individuals religious views and allow them to not vaccinate.
There are also many risks to vaccinating according to the National Vaccine Information Center. Some of these risks include brain inflammation, nervous system dysfunction, seizures, death, and shock.
Technology is so advanced that measles and other diseases should not be a problem. Vaccines affect your body, and that should be important to consider.