Anti-vaxxers cause commotion

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Anti-vaxxers cause commotion

Lauren Young, Editor

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Recently, Monroe County has had a confirmed case of measles. An unvaccinated child traveled out of the United States and contracted the disease. This is not the only case of a preventable disease to appear in this area. An inmate who was transferred to the Monroe County jail from Calhoun County on April 14 caused an outbreak of mumps. (

For years, the vaccination debate flooded parents with strong opinions on both sides. It left many confused and scared. Many children were not vaccinated. Regardless of what people believe, we are seeing once almost eradicated diseases making a strong comeback.

                History and sciences of vaccinations

Vaccinations work by introducing the body to bacterium, virus, and other things that cause diseases. By introducing your body to the virus, it causes the immune system to fight these harmful diseases without dealing with the symptoms (  When a person skips the shot, there is a heightened risk of catching these diseases.

Diseases nearly eliminated in the US

By vaccinating, the smallpox have been 100 percent eliminated, Hepatitis A, Measles, Polio, and Hemophilic Influenza have been 96-99 percent eliminated. ( Just because these diseases have been almost eliminated does not mean it is safe to skip out on vaccinations. The World Health Organization reported last week that the number of reported measles cases was up by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019 as compared to the same time period in 2018 (

Getting vaccinations is crucial to keeping oneself safe as well as his/her community. If a large amount of America stopped getting the vaccinations that keep us safe from diseases that are almost eliminated, our country would not be safe. All it takes is one diseased traveler to create a major outbreak. Hepatitis A is typically found in places with poor sanitation and hygiene practices, typically found in developing countries. Countries at a high risk for hepatitis are every country but the risk is higher in South America, Africa, Russia and Asia ( The hepatitis A vaccine is extremely effective at preventing virus infection, having both hepatitis vaccinations leads to long-term protection (


Anti-vaccination has been a hot topic in the news; many parents are opting out of vaccinating their kids in fear of side effects, most of which have not been scientifically proven.  One popular belief among these parents is the fear of shots causing autism.

             Vaccinations do not cause autism

Susan Senator, former anti-vaccination mother and writer for The New York Times, The Washington Post,, and The Boston Globe explained why she was scared of giving her second son the MMR shot.

“I used to be terrified that vaccines might have caused my oldest son Nat’s severe autism,” said Senator. The idea that any vaccinations cause autism is false.

A scientific review by the IOM claimed that “the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal–containing vaccines and autism.” Since 2003, there have been nine CDC-funded or conducted studies that have found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and ASD, as well as no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and ASD in children.

Uncommon side effects

Those who are against vaccination will often say they would rather not vaccinate their kids in fear of the side effects. James Maskell Featured on TEDMED, Huffpost Live, TEDx and more, and contributor to Huffington Post, KevinMD and thedoctorblog who studied at the University of Nottingham with a degree in health economics explains why he will not immunize his daughter. Maskell is scared that his daughter would experience short-term side effects, “seizure, temporary pain, deafness, or comas. I’m not fearful of short-term infections that come and go, like chicken pox. I’m much more fearful of what  comes through that needle, because the risks of vaccine side effects. Until we really understand the mechanisms of this issue, I am not willing to take that risk.” said Maskell.

The side effects from shots are so uncommon and insignificant. According to the FDA, there is a .11 percent chance the vaccinated baby will obtain a high fever, .13 percent chance of excessive crying, and .02 percent chance of seizures. The side effects are so uncommon that it is hard to link the prevention of deadly diseases to the short-term side effects.

                Immune systems

Some parents delay the immunization of their children due to the belief that their immune systems are not strong enough. Vaccine risks and benefits. When one has a low immune system, they will not have the antibodies needed to protect from the infection when being immunized which leads to them being vulnerable to the diseases they were vaccinated with ( Many think that babies have very weak immune systems, but they are a lot stronger than many think. Based on the number of antibodies typically found in the body, an infant has the ability to respond to 10,000 vaccinations at once. Typically there is 14 shots that a baby will need, but they are never scheduled at the same time, even if they were it would only use not even .2 percent of their immune capacity (

We have the technology and the scientific reasoning that leads one to see that vaccinations do far more good than bad. There has been many false theories that caused the vaccination debate to be reasonable, but now we can see that vaccination is necessary for the health of children and the health of the public, it is the only way we will be safe from these diseases that were one so close to being eradicated.