Letters to the Editor

For years, the anti-vaccination community has dismissed the scientific research proving vaccinations can prevent or treat dangerous infections. As the name suggests, anti-vaxxers don’t get vaccinated for a variety of reasons. Recently, this community has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a top threat to the world's health in 2019.

As this movement grows, we have seen an increase in outbreaks of dangerous diseases. As a result, we have experienced many deaths that could have been prevented. In Texas, almost 4,000 cases of pertussis (whooping cough), were recorded in 2013. This was the largest outbreak since 1959. During this time, researchers saw an increase in parents unwilling to vaccinate their children. From 2006 to 2013, an additional 12 percent of parents refused to vaccinate their children. With the growth this movement, the chances for an outbreak continues to increase. While we are not in Texas, this is still scary. Outbreaks, as this example portrays are likely to happen all over the world. Diseases do not discriminate.

Vaccines contain a weakened or dead strand of a disease. The weakened strand makes some people skeptical of vaccinations. Instead of getting vaccinated, skeptics claim that natural is good. In other words, some say it is better to get the disease than build up tolerance. The weakened strand helps the immune system tolerate the disease and prepare to attack it. Science simply proves this wrong.

Another misconception is cleanliness. Some anti-vaxxers claim that vaccines are unhygienic. Vaccinations, however, in the United States, are held to high standards. Not only do they go through intense testing for safety and sanitary reasons, but before ever reaching the public, all vaccinations are required to become licensed by the FDA then, recommended for use by the CDC. After recommendation, vaccines and their effectiveness continue to be closely monitored by several groups working alongside the CDC and FDA.

As this movement grows, fewer children are receiving the recommended vaccines. Consequently, more children will continue to die. It is quite a simple solution: vaccinate yourself and your children. If we aren’t taking advantage of the modern medicine available to us, the progression of this movement will continue to threaten the world’s health.

(1) comment

trudel

Failure to vaccinate affects not just children, but the elderly and any person with a suppressed immune system, such as cancer patients. If you care at all about the welfare of your fellow human beings, vaccinate!

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