Vaccinations Should NOT be Optional!

Nowadays, everyone is jumping on board of the latest health fad, whether it be gluten-free, vegan, juice cleanses, etc. All of these lifestyles are fine because the only person that is affected is oneself.

However, when it comes to more serious issues such as not getting vaccinated, then that’s where I draw the line.

Many parents have decided not to vaccinate their children for diseases including seizures, smallpox, polio, measles because of the rare, potential side effects. Also, some people do not receive the vaccinations, because they believe it goes against their religion.

Jenny McCarthy, former host on The View, a popular talk show, is a strong anti-vaccination activist. McCarthy claims that her son Evan began to show signs of autism soon after receiving his vaccinations.

“I know children regress after vaccination because it happened to my own son. Why aren’t there any tests out there on the safety of how vaccines are administered in the real world, six at a time? Why have only two of the 36 shots our kids receive been looked at for their relationship to autism?” said McCarthy.

On the other hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), America’s leading public health agency, claims that there is no link between vaccines and increased rates of autism in children.

Bob Wright, co-founder of Autism Speaks, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness for autism through research and outreach activities, is an advocate for vaccinations. “Over the last two decades extensive research has asked whether there is any link between childhood vaccines and autism. Scientific research has not directly connected autism to vaccines. Vaccines are very important. Parents must make the decision whether to vaccinate their children. Efforts must be continually made to educate parents about vaccine safety. If parents decide not to vaccinate they must be aware of the consequences in their community and their local schools,” said Wright.

The CDC also says that from January 1 until March 6, 2015, 173 people in the United States have contracted the disease measles. Measles is preventable if a person has been vaccinated, but since many people are choosing not to vaccinate themselves, the highly contagious disease spreads rapidly.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine. Signs and symptoms of measles include cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat, fever and a red, blotchy skin rash.”

“Also called rubeola, measles can be serious and even fatal for small children. While death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5” (Mayo Clinic).

Babies that are not yet old enough to receive their vaccines and people with weakened immune systems, like myself, are put at the highest risk for contracting these diseases because our bodies are not strong enough to fight them off. I’d rather not get polio because someone made the decision not to have their child vaccinated. Thanks, but no thanks.

According to the California Department of Public Health, the rate of measles in the United States has lessened, but without the vaccination it can become more widespread, as seen with the recent outbreak in California, which began in December 2014. About 40 people that attended Disneyland contracted the measles, which ultimately caused the highly contagious disease to spread to at least six states.

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Photo: cdc.gov

 

Personally, I find it extremely aggravating when I hear that people do not vaccinate their children. Not only are parents putting their own children in danger, but everyone else as well. In my opinion these people are extremely selfish, because in some extreme cases, the decision not to vaccinate a child can lead to a life or death situation of their child or even someone else!

Fortunately, United States citizens are lucky enough to live in a country were healthcare is easily accessible. Why wouldn’t we use this to our advantage, and protect ourselves from many of the potentially deadly diseases that exist in the world?

Yes, we live in a free country. Parents have the right to make decisions regarding their own children, but not when it can effect everyone else.

When a parent decides not to vaccinate their kids– they are deciding that they can put other people’s lives in danger because they are afraid of the small risk that something could go wrong with their child. These careless parents are making it clear that their own personal protest is more important than other people’s lives. I believe that in a perfect world parents would not have the choice of whether or not to vaccinate their kids, it would be mandatory.

Jimmy Kimmel, a popular late night talk show host on ABC, decided to tackle this serious topic on a recent episode of his show. So far the video received almost 5,000,000 views on YouTube. In this segment, Kimmel invited several doctors to discuss the benefits of vaccinations, and encourage people to receive vaccines.

Hopefully anti-vaccine advocates who watch this clip will realize the error in their ways when they come to the realization that almost EVERY doctor in the U.S. agrees that vaccinations are critical and necessary. Honestly, how could you argue with that?

Amazing prevention methods exist in the world, and uniformed parents are throwing away major scientific breakthroughs because they read something online, without scientific data, that scared them.

Attention anti-vaccination advocates: Welcome to the modern world, where medical advances exist and children, if vaccinated, will be free of a multitude of diseases!

Scientists have worked for years to find cures to several life-threatening diseases so that future generations would not have to suffer through these epidemics. Clearly, some people need to stop living in the stone age, and get their kids vaccinated… or we will all be sorry.

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