Why you need to care about the vaccine debate

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Kathleen Nolan

Until recently, the topic of vaccination was not something I thought people still argued about. But recently a measles outbreak that has terrified people across the nation. Suddenly politicians everywhere seem to be taking sides on a debate that I thought had been settled long ago.

In 1998, a study was published by Dr. Andrew Wakefield that linked autism with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. Since then, the study has been discredited due to Wakefield’s conflicts of interest, manipulation of evidence and ethics violations. Wakefield lost his medical license due to the way the study was conducted.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the United Kingdom National Health Service conducted their own studies on the link to Autism. Every review conducted by a reputable source found no link between vaccines and autism. Sadly, the media’s overhype of the study and their quietness of the retraction has kept this rumor to this day.

Many people do not understand the true power vaccines have today. We have no fear of getting small pox because the disease was literally eradicated by vaccines. By getting vaccinated, we can help get rid of—or, at the very least, stop the spread of— diseases for future generations.

Vaccines also save you money in the long term. By getting a vaccine, I am far less likely to get a sickness that will put me in the hospital, meaning that I will not have huge hospital bills to deal with.

Last, by vaccinating your children, you are helping to protect other children who cannot be vaccinated due to allergies, immune system disorders and other medical issues.

Vaccination should not be a political issue thrown around to distinguish who leans left and who leans right. Vaccination is an issue about people’s health and lives. If your child is in a public school or day care facility, they should be vaccinated to protect themselves or, at the very least, other children they may come in contact with. Your child being allergic to a vaccine or unable to receive a vaccine because of a medical issue is the only reason you should be excused.

As an adult, if you are not vaccinated then I encourage you to do your own research. If you want to get vaccinated then you can because, as long as you are eighteen, you make your own medical decisions.

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