Get your kids vaccinated

If you have been watching the news lately, you might have heard about the recent measles outbreak in Anaheim. Over 100 people have been infected this past January due to parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. The logical course of action would be for people to get vaccinated since the sole purpose of these medicines are to prevent illness.

Sermo, a social-networking site for licensed doctors polled over 3,000 physicians and found that the majority of them attributed the measles outbreak to parents who refused to vaccinate their children. The survey showed 72 percent think unvaccinated children shouldn’t even be allowed in public schools.

Measles were declared eradicated in 2000 since the vaccine was so widespread but there was a massive outbreak in 2013. Just last year 383 cases were reported in Ohio according to the Centers for Disease Control.

This year, we’re repeating history and it can all be traced back to a lack of knowledge. People, including politicians and celebrities are still regurgitating myths about the dangers of vaccination. The idea that vaccines cause brain disorders, particularly in children have been greatly exaggerated.

In 1988, Andrew Wakefield a former gastroenterologist claimed to have found the link between measles, mumps and autism. Most of the people who co-authored the studies done by Wakefield withdrew their names after learning he had been paid by a law firm intending to sue vaccine manufacturers.

The damage had been done and his ideas, even though they were discredited, caused a widespread panic that still hasn’t dissipated even though he was stripped of his British Medical license.

It was once thought that the amount of the preservative Themirosal, which contains a small amount of mercury, in some vaccines was causing autism. But little to no modern versions of vaccines have this preservative in them. Even when they did, there was no scientific proof it was linked to autism.

Many of the myths surrounding this idea have been debunked. Weren’t most of us vaccinated as children? If so, why are our children exempt from the same medical experiences? It’s imperative to the general public’s safety for parents to do their research rather than basing their beliefs on outdated research.

There isn’t just a debate over child vaccinations. In recent years, numerous studies have concluded that there is a lower rate of adult vaccinations as well. A national health survey states that vaccination amongst adults has plummeted.

There are people out there who think vaccines are given out to make doctors richer but a third of doctors actually lose money by giving out vaccinations according to a 2009 study.

Most people receive their shots as children but its recommended teens and adults get seasonal flu shots and in some cases, a Meningococcal conjugate vaccine which fights meningitis and might be required on some campuses where students might share dorms.

The CDC also recommends young men and women to get shots to protect themselves against Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most types of cervical cancers. For adults 60 years and older, the CDC recommends the Zoster vaccine to prevent the shingles.

There are a lot of physicians trying to encourage parents to vaccinate their children but apparently adults need the same encouragement to seek vaccination for themselves.

It might violate people’s medical or spiritual beliefs but it seems the best way to prevent another major outbreak, is for states to regulate vaccinations. It’s possible that this goes against people’s spiritual and personal beliefs, but numerous studies have shown that vaccines can save thousands of lives, particularly the lives of children.

Still, with evidence, some conservative politicians aren’t going to make this an easy thing to accomplish.

If you need more motivation to vaccinate kids, look at the rates of diseases in other countries. In many third world countries, there are diseases such as smallpox still rampant in many areas of third world countries. Because Americans have access to a wider range of vaccines; we have successfully eradicated certain diseases.

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Dr. Sanjay Gupta said vaccines prevent 6 million deaths worldwide each year and that one has a higher chance of being struck by lightening than to have an allergic reaction to a vaccine. This is proof that vaccines do more good than harm. We must look at the bigger picture.

So for now, it’s strictly up to us to make sure the children in our lives are given the protection they need in the form of vaccination.