What a time to be alive! We live in an era full of the most high tech medical instruments,new operations, and innovative medicines. We complete life saving surgeries in ways that our ancestors could only dream of. For instance, the people of the 19th/20th century would never have thought of a life without polio. Thankfully, we have doctors that spent their time inventing vaccines for illnesses such as polio, smallpox, and HIV. But not everyone understands how vaccines work. Some people have such a poor understanding that they don’t want to vaccinate their children for fear of harming their children with the horrible side effects that come with it.
For those that don’t know how a vaccine works: a vaccine is a form of dead or weakened strain of a certain virus. When we are given this vaccine, our bodys will start to make antibodies to fight off this unfamiliarity. These antibodies will fight off and kill the vaccine. The more doses of the vaccine we are given the stronger our antibodies become until our bodies are able to fight off the illness itself. Vaccines were made to help our bodies fight off viruses and diseases our body couldn’t do naturally. (2 www.niaid.nih.gov) A vaccine is simply a catalyst to help boost not only our immunity but also the immunity of our children and the future generations. In fact, the CDC has prevented more than 21 million hospitalizations and 750,000 deaths within the last 20 years! But in order to keep such statistics we must vaccinate our children. Everyone must work together to create a safe, disease free environment for the community, this is called “herd immunity.”
Simply put, herd immunity works so that the more people that are vaccinated, the less people are able to be open to the virus or bacteria. The measles for example, was a highly contagious, airborne virus that was found in nearly all children in the 20th century. Within the first decade of reported cases, there was an average of 6,000 measle related deaths, 48,000 were hospitalized, 1,000 suffered encephalitis. But in 1971, a cocktail of vaccines called MMR was made to fight against measles, mumps, and rubella. This introduction lead to the rapid decline of all three diseases. Just two doses of the MMR vaccine is estimated to be 97-99% effective. Vaccinating infants and children lead to a 75% drop in measles cases worldwide from 2000-2013 and the complete abolishment of the virus in America in 2000. (27 Mauskopf) However due to the lack of available health care globally, the measles still causes 145,700 deaths a year annually. (1 Understanding Community Immunity.)
What is the first thing one does when they figure out they are sick? Usually tell mama, right? She will make it all better, just by staying by the side of her sick child. But is this really necessary; it is completely preventable afterall! By vaccinating their children, parents do not need to stay home, when they could be out working at their job. The more widespread of the vaccine the less money and less time to come by. However, a sick child requires time off work which in turn will require money or the lack of making money. For example, a child with influenza can be contagious for up to eight days or more. According to the Center of Diseases Control (CDC), this alone can cost parents an average of 11 to 73 hours worth of a wages (approximately $222-$1,456) and anywhere from $300 to $4,000 in medical expenses. In a measles outbreak in 2008, of just eleven unvaccinated children cost a net public-sector $123,512 total ($10,376, per case), all due to emergency vaccinations and outbreak response. However, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA/Obamacare) makes many vaccines obtainable to both children and adults.
The number one reason many parents will not vaccinate their children for the fear of detrimental reactions and such as autism or any side effect. Taking it straight from the horse’s mouth, vaccines do not cause autism and is a “no effect risk.” (2 autismspeaks.org) Unfortunately, it is uneducated parents that believe such things that are putting their children at risk without doing their research. Little reactions such as a small fever, soreness, and swelling at the injection site are perfectly normal when introducing new things to the body and small side effects are expected. However, it should be brought to the attention of concerned parents that their child is 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have an serious reaction such as blood in the stool/urine or pneumonia. That one person to have those type of reactions would be one-in-a-million; Quite literally too! The statistic for having a severe allergic reaction is 1/1,000,000.
Children are exposed to bacteria, viruses, and toxins everyday. In fact children are exposed to more bacteria in their normal activistes than when they receive their vaccinations.
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