Watch Out Anti-Vaxxers

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Watch Out Anti-Vaxxers

Jessica Joachim, Reporter, Photographer

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Vaccines play a vital role in protecting individuals from contracting and spreading fatal diseases including the measles, mumps, smallpox, rubella, and other preventable diseases. However, despite tangible evidence favoring vaccines, people still believe false information about the true intentions of the injection.

Vaccines originated as a way of ridding of diseases by using an inactive strain of the disease itself. The vaccines help to prevent the individual from the likelihood of contracting the disease by exposing the antibodies to the strain, allowing them to ultimately defend the virus. Other ingredients used in the injection also prevent the disease itself from impacting the individual.

“Edward Jenner’s innovations begun with his successful 1796 use of cowpox material to create immunity to smallpox, quickly made the practice widespread. His method underwent medical and technological changes over the next 200 years, and eventually resulted in the eradication of smallpox,” The History of Vaccines said.

Unfortunately, vaccines do not reap the same benefits for individuals with allergies to the vaccination, a weakened immune system, or those too young, leaving them unable to take it. People undergoing chemo or radiation treatments should avoid receiving vaccines as it poses a risk of damaging the weak immune system of these individuals. Under these cases, refraining from getting vaccines proves logical as it poses an actual risk to the health of the individual receiving it.

Due to a lack of research, a group of individuals known as “anti-vaxxers” rejects the idea of vaccinations for themselves or for their children in concerns that it leads to autism. A false study on the impacts of vaccines intensified the fear in parents, leading them to reevaluate their position on the safety of vaccinating their children.

“The now-discredited paper panicked many parents and led to a sharp drop in the number of children getting the vaccine that prevents measles, mumps, and rubella. Vaccination rates dropped sharply in Britain after its publication, falling as low as 80% by 2004. Measles cases have gone up sharply in the ensuing years,” the CNN wire staff said.

Nevertheless, before choosing to believe a life-threatening piece of information, researching from and consulting with credible sources proves vital to ensure one’s health.

I think that all people who are able to be vaccinated based on their health status should receive vaccinations as they prevent diseases that are otherwise deadly. I use the CDC to inform me of which vaccines I need. The CDC has completed or funded research about the efficacy of vaccines for many years and publish data about vaccinations annually. I encourage people who are vaccine-hesitant to seek out reputable sources of information to make their decisions,” science teacher Jennifer Johnson said.

Previously nearly eradicated diseases begin to reappear as the myths take a toll on the minds of parents in the general public. Even more recently, eradicated diseases begin to return, threatening the safety of individuals.

Studies and health organizations rushed to debunk these myths of vaccines causing autism.

These studies found that vaccines do not cause autism as the study used strong statistical information to support their claim.

Studies prove that vaccines do not pose threats to the health and lives of healthy individuals. The importance of vaccinations extends beyond the protection of not only those who take them but to the individuals around them.

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