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Mmr Vaccine: Examining The Evidence Essay

2563 words - 11 pages

The MMR Vaccine: Examining the Evidence
In 1963 the Noble Peace Prize winning virologist John F. Enders finally licensed his vaccine for measles. Prior to this vaccine the United States alone reported 4 million cases of the measles each year. With more scientific discoveries the measles vaccine today has evolved to include immunity against rubella and mumps along with protecting millions against illness each year. However, vaccination is a word surrounded by controversy in today’s parenting world and the Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR) can be distinguished as possibly the most controversial vaccine of our time. Controversial because of the fear that many have that it causes autism along with other hazards. This fear has clouded the judgment of thousands of concerned parents who are making the decision of whether or not to vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine. These suspicions are not unreasonable, considering parents have been exposed to a range of conflicting views resulting in the feeling of having been misled about the safety of the vaccine. Various groups and individuals are responsible for this over all feeling, but it is the scientific and medical community’s responsibility to ensure the safety of such an important vaccine not just for children but also for the general population. Parents should have their children vaccinated with the MMR vaccine to ensure protection against illness for their children, and for the safety of public as well. This decision can be made confidently once parents are educated about the science and safety of the vaccine, rather than the bad science being broadcasted globally by sources that are not credible.
Based on the immense amount of media coverage of the safety of MMR, the public has created a negative dogma about the vaccine. Undoubtedly many believe that there must be some truth in all of the controversy. Many parents are not convinced that vaccines are safe and moreover are not sure who to listen to or to trust. Some are even reverting to the belief that it is safer to have the disease than have their children vaccinated. Furthermore, they believe that these illnesses are not serious. Not only parents, but also advocates for anti-vaccination are a huge voice in this heated debate. Whether the public understands and accepts important information in the debate will depend on both the communication skills, and the credibility, of the source. Vaccines are as safe as humans can presently make them. Yet as in any health intervention, some level of uncertainty will always remain (Clements). It is now the responsibility of the parents of these young children to make the pivotal decision in their young child’s life. To vaccinate or not to vaccinate is a question that many parents find extremely difficult to answer. However, once faced with the research and safety statistics surrounding the MMR vaccine, the answer may be clearer than once believed. Starting with the controversy of the presence of...

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