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Why Our Children Should Be Vaccinated

931 words - 4 pages

Why our children should be vaccinated
Vaccines are said to be one of the greatest public health achievements in history. They date back to 1796, when Edward Jenner used cowpox material to create immunity to the smallpox disease. (Historyofvaccines.org 2014) Now over two-hundred years later they’ve helped dramatically reduce the instance of viral diseases in children. For example, old childhood diseases such as Polio, Smallpox, and Diptheria have either been completely eradicated or are rarely seen in the United States thanks to vaccines. However, in recent years we’ve seen a sharp increase in parents who opt out of having their children receive these life-saving immunizations. ...view middle of the document...

This has had devastating effects on public health as more people choose to opt out of vaccines in fear of autism. The actual accusation of the autism threat goes back to 1998, when a British physician by the name of Andrew Wakefield wrote an article for a medical journal called The Lancet. In his article, he detailed studies of the three series M.M.R vaccine and how being administered produced autism in children. This article caused mass hysteria and widespread panic amongst parents not only in Great Britian but here in the United States as well. This autism theory was debunked as later investigations into Wakefield’s research found his claims to be dishonest and fraudulent. “The archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, which reviewed a dozen epidemiological studies, concluded that there was no evidence of an association between autism and M.M.R, and studies in peer-reviewed journals since have come to the same conclusion.”(Dominus 2011) It was also revealed by investigators that funding for Wakefield’s studies came from lawyers looking to build a case against vaccine manufacturers. In 2010, The General Medical Council stripped Wakefield of his medical license and the journal, The Lancet retracted his original article.(Dominus 2011) Although Wakefield’s theories were disproved and he received punishment for his dishonesty, the footprint of his claims still linger today as people look for a reason for the rise in autism cases. An offered explanation for this spike in autism could be that the symptoms of this developmental disorder have broadened as the Diagnostic Statistical Manual has been expanded in recent years. This is a manual that physicians use when diagnosing a child as autistic. For example, children who used to be labeled as...

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