Vaccination? The age-old question that was already answered.

by Markian Borkowsky on March 27, 2014

     I distinctly remember the feeling of going to the doctor, having the inevitable pit in my stomach that agonized me. Even as a ten year old, I dreaded the doctor’s office because of the shots I would always receive. I didn’t even really understand why I needed a needle stuck into my arm and felt as though my parents just wanted to torture me. It was only later on in life that I learned about the numerous health benefits of vaccines, that they prevented me from contracting deadly diseases and boosted my immune system (Council on Foreign Development).

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     Protection from mumps, measles, polio, and rubella kept me healthy during my childhood, but not all children had the opportunity to protection that I did. More than 30 million children are unimmunized across the globe, mostly because they are living in poor areas and do not have access to health care (Immunization). The fourth goal of the Millennium Development Goals is to decrease childhood mortality, and the main way to combat this is through vaccinations. Vaccines save roughly 6 to 9 million lives each year, with 3 million of those lives being children (Vaccinnable disease). However, since the 1990’s, the incidence of preventive diseases through vaccinations has actually increased across the globe (Effect of Childhood Vaccine). Why would a simple choice of preventative medicine fall out of fashion? Surprisingly one doctor’s study would create a new movement to stop vaccinations for being administered, and it is killing millions of people.

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Increased rate of Preventable Disease Outbreaks

   In 1998, a fraudulent study argued a correlation between increasing vaccinations and a significant increase in autism diagnoses in children. This study was greatly scrutinized and pulled from the medical journal it was published in (Effect of Childhood Vaccine). Unfortunately, its’ impact has been wide spreading as many parents in the UK and USA have chosen to not vaccinate their children in fears of developing autism. Some critics of vaccines also argue their costs, but the average flu vaccine in the United States costs 10 to 30 dollars, depending on the patient’s insurance plan or clinic they are receiving their vaccine from (Immunization). The shift to not vaccinating children has not only affected the western world, as Africa and Asia have the highest incidents of measles outbreaks.

     From a public health point of view, the lack of vaccinations among young children is a tragedy that affects us all. By not vaccinating, diseases that many people have researched and worked tirelessly to develop and become accusable are wasted and ultimately pose a strain on the US health care system. Only through education and more comprehensive public health initiatives can this unfortunate trend be reversed.

 

Works Cited

Council on Foreign Relations. Council on Foreign Relations, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

“Immunization.” UNICEF. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.

Lee, Emily, and Lindsay Rosenthal. “The Effect of Childhood Vaccine Exemptions on Disease Outbreaks.” Center for American Progress. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2014.

Wint, Bradley. “Vaccinable Diseases on the Rise in the US/Europe, and You Won’t Believe Why.” Vyralize. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.


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