This archived article was written by: Josie Sue Slade
When Ebola was reported in the United States, people panicked and bought masks and other preventive measures. Yet more and more parents are refusing to get their children vaccinated for diseases that they are much more likely to come in contact with. Why is it that people are concerned about something that won’t affect their lives, but willing to risk the lives of their children over something like refusing the vaccinations that were developed to make the world safer?
The notion that vaccinations do more harm than good is sweeping across the next generation of parents. Not only is this ill founded, but dangerous to the unvaccinated children and newborns. Doctors wouldn’t administer vaccinations if they weren’t done for a reason. Without vaccinations, there would be more deaths from diseases we can prevent.
The key word here is “prevent.” The latest Center for Disease Control statistics show 102 cases of measles were reported in January. In 2014, a record number of cases were reported: 644 in 27 states. In 2000, measles was put on the eliminated diseases list in the U.S.
With less parents vaccinating their children, it gets riskier for parents to take newborns around other children without the fear of their child contracting a disease. The 2015 outbreak of measles stemmed from Disneyland. Many families go to Disneyland on vacation, and the outbreak has made it obvious that there is a larger risk of contracting this preventable disease than ever. No family should fear their child’s health while on vacation, merely because of someone else’s decision.
Vaccines work. If you believe they do not, do your research. There is no argument about whether or not they work; they do work. Most people have never seen a case of the measles. Lots of new parents haven’t even seen a case of the chicken pox. They get it in their head that because they’ve never seen a case, they don’t need to vaccinate. This is far from truth. With vaccines, you would see the measles and you would want the vaccine.
While there are risks involved in the measles vaccine, they are mild compared to getting the disease. The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine risks include fever, temporary joint pain, rash and swollen glands (all of which go away). Some of the worse side effects can include seizures or drop in the platelet count that can lead to bleeding. The worst side effects happen in one of 30,000 doses. This risk is less likely than death from measles. The risks are minuscule on the grand scheme of things.
It’s pointless to not take advantage of medical achievements we are given. If you are not vaccinating your child, you are putting them at an unneeded risk. Instead of pretending that we live in the dark ages, get yourself and your children vaccinated.