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Vaccines Save Lives

Today, many Americans take public and personal health for granted.  Most have never had to worry about deadly diseases such as polio or measles. The lack of severe illnesses in our country is not just the product of healthy lifestyles, but also thanks to immunization that generations of vaccines has provided. Some skeptics claim that limiting the use of vaccines will better health, yet this restriction may herald the return of once eradicated diseases. Vaccines should not be considered a choice a parent makes for their child, but a legal obligation to protect their children, themselves, and the rest of society.

 

One of the major fears held by vaccine skeptics is the supposed link to autism.  There is absolutely no evidence that vaccines are related to the development of autism in children.  The original “research” that sparked this fear was the Lancet study by Wakefield et al.  The study involved very few autistic children and was later proven to be fraudulent due to a lack of statistical evidence. Recently conducted studies have solidified the refute to claims of a relationship, “a study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that looked at a cohort of about 100,00 children… Researchers once again looked at whether the MMR vaccine was associated with autism, and found that it was not.”  The diagnosis of autism has been more prevalent, but this is mostly due to an increase in the definition of the autism spectrum.

 

The Trump Administration has provided a stance to fuel the greatly misled anti-vaccination movement.  The President should better the health and safety of the nation, not distribute false information. The current Health Secretary, Tom Price, believes that vaccinations should be regulated on a state level.  With government encouragement, more states might allow philosophical exemptions, increasing outbreaks of deadly diseases.According to the National Conference of State Legislature, “Currently, 18 states allow philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs.”  Meaning, parents are not required to vaccinate their children.  Children who have no medical or religious restrictions are not given an immunization that could save their life.  

 

Schools, universities, and businesses are places where thousands of people convene almost daily for hours at a time.  This creates an environment so that contagious illnesses can spread amongst peers like wildfire.  If harmful diseases become even more prevalent in places than they already are, even more people will be at risk.  ILlnesses could be brought that home to the weak, elderly, and infants they live with.  The increase of anti-vaccination could lead to a return of deadly diseases being a common part of life and the breakdown of society.