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Anti-vaxxers’ argument invalid

Posted on 02.21.2018
Graphic by Johana Rosendo

Graphic by Johana Rosendo

Despite overwhelming evidence that vaccines are rarely dangerous, many parents make the choice to not vaccinate their children. According to the World Health Organization, 19.5 million (nearly one in 10) children were not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated with the Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis shot that protects children from serious infectious diseases such as whooping cough and tetanus.

It is appalling  that,  despite the amount of evidence that  vaccines are safe, parents are still choosing not to vaccinate their healthy kids. The actions and claims of those opposed to vaccines seem nothing but delusional, selfish and ignorant.

When my niece was born in August, my sister and her doctor decided not to let anyone who had not had the TDAP (a DTP booster) shot in the hospital room because she was afraid of the possibility that her could baby develop whopping cough due to the poor decision of someone else.

My niece was too young to receive the shot at the time, which is why others took precautions to protect her. Some children are simply not old enough for certain vaccines, and others with compromised immune systems cannot receive vaccines and must rely on others to be vaccinated, to prevent diseases from spreading to sick and weak children.

A simple Google search will yield  an abundance of evidence that vaccines are safe. Vaccines must undergo years of  testing before they are put into the market for widespread use. Of course, there is always a possibility of side effects, as there is with any drug, but the benefits outweigh the risks. Vaccines have dramatically reduced, and in some cases eradicated, dangerous diseases. Take polio and smallpox as prime examples.

I can’t comprehend that some choose to ignore the science and the evidence of vaccines and would rather listen to anti-vaccine groups on Facebook.  In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control found that out of 25 million people who received a vaccines, only 33 people had a serious reaction from the vaccine. In the study, no one under the age of four had complications and the median age of complications was 17.  Only one of those 33 people was hospitalized and no deaths occurred. The benefits outweigh the risks by far. I am not a mother, but one day I may be, and I would rather take a one-in-one million chance that my child could have vaccine complications than my child to get sick, and possibly die, from a disease that could have been easily

The most ridiculous argument of all is that vaccines cause autism. I find this argument laughable and the cherry on top to the delusion of anti-vaccines. Extensive research has been conducted and concluded that there is no correlation between autism and vaccines, according to the CDC. Hypothetically speaking, even if vaccines caused autism, I would rather my child be  alive and have autism than dead without autism. A child having a development disability seems far better than losing a child to an easily preventable disease.

People are allowed to have their own opinions and make their own judgements, but when those opinions and judgements come at the expense of others lives, a line needs to be drawn. The only reason a child should not be vaccinated is if their immune system is compromised or it is already known that the vaccine is
ineffective on that child or if vaccinations go directly against someone’s religious beliefs. Not because some mother on Facebook has read something and decided that vaccines were bad.

The situation would be different if there wasn’t extensive research put into vaccines. But there has been, and science has proved most, if not all, of the falsities that people claim in order to not vaccinate their children.


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