Article By: Yerin K.
Edited By: Norbu D.
Visual By: Johanna O.
The first successful vaccination was formulated in 1796, over two hundred years ago to terminate the virus of smallpox. The dawn of the developing of medicines to make the immune system stronger and more resistant to diseases commenced a series of new vaccinations for other common, thought-to-be incurable, syndromes such as measles, mumps, and rubella. Vaccination boosted the world’s pharmaceutical development as it prevented many deaths, and saved many people from the risk of catching certain diseases. It became globalized and almost a tradition, as nearly everyone in the world gets vaccinated as a child, or at some point in their life. However, the number of people who have brought up controversies and challenged the safety of vaccination began to increase. This led to the sudden outbreak of measles in recent times as people continued to question if vaccination should remain a mandatory clinical requirement.
The debate of the different ideas on vaccination rose to the surface after Ethan Lindenberger, an 18-year-old boy from Ohio, posted his concerns and frustration about his parent’s opposition to vaccinations and their forbidding of him to get vaccinated. He states that “[his] parents think vaccines are some kind of government scheme. It’s stupid and [he] had countless arguments over the topic.” This displays the first cause of the sudden increase of anti-vaxers–the influence of social media. Many parents are exposed to numerous posts of false statements about vaccines, and although doctors debunk these misconceptions multiple times, the digital world continues to craft myths that look like facts.
A far-fetched, yet popular thought about vaccination is that it increases the likelihood of children being diagnosed with autism. People state that there is already enough “abundant evidence” of children with autism having a correlation with vaccinated children. However, the truth is that the connection is entirely coincidental due to the ages of getting vaccinated and the age of developing autism being quite similar. Furthermore, no causal relationships have been proved between unvaccinated autistic children and vaccinated autistic children.
Anti-vaxers continue to boycott and protest against vaccinating their infants and themselves after the recent outbreaks of measles, but avoiding the one protection that protects them from these diseases is utterly foolish and will expand the problem of reemerging diseases far more severely than now. Vaccination had impacted our society to develop and change for the better. Disregarding it will cause the world to spring back to the old, undeveloped world where pestilence and illnesses ran rampant.
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“Six Common Misconceptions about Immunization.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 19 Feb. 2013, http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/initiative/detection/immunization_misconceptions/en/index2.html.
“Top 20 Questions about Vaccination.” History of Vaccines, http://www.historyofvaccines.org/index.php/content/articles/top-20-questions-about-vaccination#7.
“Vaccines for Infants, Children, and Teens.” Vaccines, http://www.vaccines.gov/who_and_when/infants_to_teens.