Vaccines have been around since Jenner’s success had spread throughout the world in the early 1800s. Jenner successfully created the small pox vaccine. When the word spread that there had been a successful small pox vaccine created, Massachusetts became the first state to persuade its residents to get the vaccine. After this vaccine had its success, creating vaccinations against deadly diseases became more common. When vaccinations became more common and states started enforcing them many people became upset and started the Anti-Vaxx movement. When the Anti-Vaxx movement was created parents started refusing to get their children vaccinated which ultimately lead to rare disease outbreaks. With the many outbreaks, I believe childhood vaccinations should be mandatory as they keep rare diseases at bay and protect those who are immunocompromised. Vaccinations not only protect your child, but they also protect loved ones, and other children.
Vaccines work by developing your immunity against rare diseases by imitating an infection. After receiving a vaccination your body produces T-lymphocytes and antibodies against that virus. After the imitating infection has left your body, your body then remembers how to fight the disease you were vaccinated against. There two different types of vaccines, live vaccines and inactivated vaccines. Live vaccines contain a version of the living virus that has been weakened so that it does not cause serious disease in people with healthy immune systems (CDC, 2013). Inactivated vaccines are pathogens that have been destroyed so they are unable to replicate. Due to the vaccines being inactive they almost always require boosters in order for your body to develop immunity. Vaccines have many benefits that outweigh the risks.
Since childhood vaccinations are such a highly controversial and debatable topic the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have listed some of the most important reasons for vaccinating your child. Reason one is they can save your child’s life. Reason two is vaccines are safe and effective. Reason three vaccines protect others and the immunocompromised. Reason four they protect future generations. These four reasons the cdc has listed to get your child vaccinated are very important for you and your family to understand. Vaccines can save your child’s life. When a child receives a vaccination, it builds their immunity against that virus. After receiving a vaccination, the body doesn’t recognize the virus and their bodies begins creating antigens which ultimately builds their immunity. So, if your child is ever exposed to that virus their immune systems memory will remember how to fight that virus off without causing any harm. Vaccines are safe and effective. In order for a vaccine to be used its thoroughly gets reviewed and tested by scientists and multiple professionals in the healthcare field.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process, often lasting 10-15 years and involving a combination of public and private involvement (History of Vaccines, 2018). The vaccine testing and approval process consists of six different steps. Once those six steps are successfully completed then the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for regulating vaccines in the United States (cdc, 2015).
Vaccines protect others and the immunocompromised. Vaccines protect those who are too young to receive them due to infancy and protects those who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons. Vaccines are among the most effective tools available for preventing infectious diseases and their complications and sequelae (Omer, Saad 2007). Due to individuals being too young or those who are unable to receive vaccines it is our job to vaccinate those who are eligible in order to keep rare diseases at bay. Keeping rare diseases at bay allows those individuals to live without the fear of contracting a potentially deadly virus.
Vaccinations will protect future generations from the diseases that we have today. Just like we are protected from small pox, measles, and polio. Smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide. Your children don’t have to get smallpox shots anymore because the disease no longer exists anywhere in the world (cdc, 2017). With the increase in the anti-vaxx movement there has been an increase in measles cases. With having these sporadic measles outbreaks, overall it is not protecting the future generations.
Even with the supporting evidence as to why and how vaccines protect us, there are still many people that are very skeptical about vaccines. Which many of these people choose to either delay or not vaccinate at all. When people started receiving the small pox vaccine that is when concern grew about vaccinations and not long after is when the anti-vaxx movement began.
Today many individuals believe in the anti-vaxx movement. These people think completely opposite of those who believe in vaccinations. They believe that receiving vaccinations does more harm than good to their children. There are many reasons as to why people think vaccines are harmful, for example they believe that the ingredients in vaccines are dangerous, causes autism, and a violation of parental rights. Even though vaccines take years to make and get approved people believe that the ingredients that vaccines contain such as thimerosal, formaldehyde, neomycin, and aluminum are dangerous to the human body. These ingredients all have different purposes in creating a vaccine. Even though these ingredients themselves in large quantities are dangerous the tiny amount in a single vaccine does not cause any harm to the human body. Before vaccines are released to be used The Food and Drug Administration looks at the results of these tests to decide whether to license the vaccine for use in the United States (vaccines.gov, 2017). Another reason is people believe that the MMR shot causes autism. Dr. Andrew Wakefield published his infamous article in The Lancet linking autism with the MMR vaccine, causing a public outcry against all childhood vaccinations (McLeod, Corinne 2014).
Years later we are still seeing the repercussion of this article. After years of people believing Wakefield’s study, research has shown that his study was wrong in many ways and ended up being removed in 2010. With the many studies done studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD (cdc, 2015). The third reason is people believe that it’s a violation of parental rights. Many schools have strict school vaccine requirements. All states permitted medical exemptions from school immunization requirements, 48 states allowed religious exemptions, and 21 states allowed exemptions based on philosophical or personal beliefs (Omer, Saad 2007). With those being the three big reasons why people don’t agree with vaccinations the vaccination rate is decreasing. The anti-vaxx movement is dangerous in many ways. With the vaccination rates decreasing there has been multiple recent rare disease outbreaks such as the measles virus. “These outbreaks are among persons who refused vaccinations and are spread rapidly within the unvaccinated populations” (Omar Saad, 2007).
With more people choosing not to vaccinate this leads the potential to start seeing more rare diseases. With vaccinations being such a hot and controversial topic in the United States, there are two different views on them such as pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine. Those who believe in pro-vaccine believe that the benefits outweigh the risks and its doing more good for their child than harming them. People who are anti-vaccine believe that vaccines are doing more harm than protecting them since they have dangerous ingredients and side effects such as the MMR vaccine causing autism. I personally am pro-vaccine. I believe that the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks tremendously. Our job as a whole is to educate the importance of vaccinations and how they protect us.
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