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The Truth About Vaccines Essay

1699 words - 7 pages

Ryan Milley was only 18 years old when he developed a severe case of meningitis after coming home from a family party one night. By the time his mother rushed him to the emergency room, he had lost all feeling in his legs and was so weak that he could not stand up on his own. A few hours later his heart stopped. Ryan passed away on June 22, 1998 just before eleven A.M. (“Victims of Vaccine-Preventable Disease”). If Ryan Milley had gotten vaccinated for meningitis as an infant, this tragedy could have been prevented. Vaccines are substances that provide immunity against certain diseases by stimulating the production of antibodies without inducing the effects of the disease. This is not a new concept however. Vaccines have been fighting off deadly diseases since 1796 when English doctor, Edward Jenner, first inoculated a young boy with a cowpox serum that worked to stop smallpox, the leading cause of death in the eighteenth century. Since then, smallpox, along with a variety of other diseases including polio and measles have been eradicated in most developed countries. The public, as a whole, should get vaccinated because vaccines are one of the most effective medical procedures that can save your life against deadly diseases, they are not harmful in any way, and the public welfare may be at risk because of those who choose not to get vaccinated.
People make the decision not to get vaccinated for numerous reasons. Some people believe the act of getting vaccinated by injection is too invasive. An irrational fear of needles is what keeps them away from clinics and doctors’ offices in order to get a yearly flu shot. Even though it is understandable that getting a shot is not the most pleasant experience, one must overlook the twenty seconds of pain in order to take comfort in knowing that they are now immune to that certain disease. Other people do not get vaccinations because they believe that vaccines are dangerous and have the ability to make their children develop serious developmental diseases such as autism. Even though the original publication on the study of vaccines being the cause of autism has been retracted and numerous medical tests have proven these first scientists’ conclusions false, “The idea that there is something wrong with our vaccines- that they have poisoned a generation of kids, driving an ‘epidemic’ of autism- continues to be everywhere: on cable news, in celebrity magazines, on blogs, and in health news stories” (Haugen). Many parents of children with autism choose to believe that vaccines are to blame because they feel helpless in finding a reason why their child has autism. Parents just want to keep their children safe, and autism-free, even if that means subjecting them to the dangers of infectious diseases through not vaccinating them. The third reason why people make the decision not to get vaccinated is because some people consider government mandated shots a cause for concern on behalf of one’s personal privacy. The...

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