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Chieftain Press

Controversy Surrounding Vaccinations

Angie Massinger

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There was a time when getting vaccinated was a ‘no-brainer’. Similar to a knight in shining armor, vaccines seemed to protect individuals of all kinds. People were thrilled to have the means to prevent a multitude of life-threatening illnesses. So, why is it that people are now trying to combat such public health? Why is the anti-vaccine movement growing exponentially, despite its invalid beliefs?

New studies indicate that vaccines can cause serious side effects. Approximately 1 in every 1,000,000 children suffers an allergic reaction to a vaccine.

One the other hand, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that over 322 cases of childhood illness have been prevented by vaccines.

So, which piece of evidence weighs heavier?

The majority argues that the lives saved by vaccines cannot simply be ignored.

Supporters state that the risks of vaccines may be compared to those associated with other drugs. Children can have adverse reactions to acetaminophen, ibuprofen, penicillin, etc. Despite such risks,  the vast majority of parents still allow their children to consume such medications. They are willing to take a risk in order to help ease their child’s pain and suffering.

Similarly, there is a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of a child having an adverse reaction to a vaccine; therefore a a 999,999 in 1,000,000 chance of a child remaining unharmed. Even if a child happens to have an allergic reaction to the medicine, doctors are fully equipped to intervene.

Parents consistently work in order to make the best informed decision on behalf of their offspring. Every guardian possesses the legal right to refuse medical treatment for their child if they do not feel such is the best course of action.

However, unless a child is known to be allergic to the ingredients in a specific vaccine, evidence is overwhelming that vaccination is the best option for all, including youth.

Opponents of the controversy argue that vaccines cause autism. Unfortunately, this statement is not supported by strong evidence; autism isn’t something that can be contracted. It is far more likely that autism would arise from other factors: genetics, behaviors, and exposure to toxins. Even so, many would argue that if vaccines did cause autism that such would still be a better alternative to death. The child would be grateful to be alive and healthy.

 

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Controversy Surrounding Vaccinations