What's The Big Deal About Vaccines?

Why attention needs to be brought to this national debate

Vaccines - Why do we need them?

Generally, vaccines help to prevent diseases, and tend to be very beneficial in flu season (take it from someone who got sick twice with the flu in the same year because of the lack of a certain vaccine). These vaccines have been invented to help us, yet some people refuse to have their children vaccinated. Why would they do this? Well, there are many reasons, and some are more valid arguments than others.

Why are people allowed to avoid required vaccines?

People are allowed to be exempted from vaccines for three reasons: medical, religious (valid in 48 states), or personal/philosophical beliefs (only valid in 17 states). Children with diseases such as leukemia or that have weakened immune systems are allowed medical exemptions due to complications the vaccine could cause that would harm them. However, a growing amount of children's parents are opting out of vaccines for religious, personal, and philosophical beliefs. Because of this exemption, the children are more at risk of catching a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine, and they also put children that could not be vaccinated due to medical problems at risk.

Vaccines and Autism

Some parents believe that vaccines cause autism. Although there has been no official claim that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism, people believe that it could happen. In the case of Hannah Poling, the 19 month year old diagnosed with encephalopathy caused by a mitochondrial enzyme deficit a few months after taking diphtheria–tetanus–acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles–mumps–rubella (MMR), varicella, and inactivated polio vaccines. The signs of her disease included "problems with language, communication, and behavior — all features of autism spectrum disorder." All of this considered, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, "...although experts testifying on behalf of the Polings could reasonably argue that development of fever and a varicella-vaccine rash after the administration of nine vaccines was enough to stress a child with mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, Hannah had other immunologic challenges that were not related to vaccines." For more information on the Hannah Poling case, a QR Code is included that will pull up the case.

QR Code to Hannah Poling Case

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Get Vaccinated!

Vaccines really do make a difference in the life of people. Without vaccines, there could be many more dangerous outbreaks of preventable viruses. There is no conclusive scientific statement on if vaccines do cause autism, but it is medically believed to have no link to autism. Without being vaccinated, however, you are susceptible to potentially dangerous viruses, and your body could be seriously harmed. It is a big risk to not be vaccinated, so get vaccinated and protect yourself!