Health and medical trends have never been consistent throughout the population. The debate of whether milk is good for the body has flip-flopped dozens of times, and while lactose quantities and their effects may differ for each body, the importance of vaccinations do not.
I had the pleasure of speaking to a mother of ten who complained to me that her children were not admitted to school because they were not vaccinated. Yet when telling me about her views on anti-vaccination, I was shocked to learn that the woman’s reasoning came from content on YouTube, as well as other mothers who had no educational background to support their decisions.
Vaccinations are an integral medical development to the human body. When properly injected, the vaccines allow small portions of the disease to enter our body so that our immune system has enough power to battle potentially life threatening germs.
It then develops a code for immunization against these viruses and infections, thus allowing the human body to recognize the diseases and defeat them should a person become infected.
That being said, the anti-vaccination movement has opened a new vulnerability to our society.
The woman I met argued that if other children were vaccinated then there was no way her own children could infect them. To avoid any conflict, I steered the conversation in another direction. The reality is however, even if other children are vaccinated they can still catch the disease, they will just have a higher chance of surviving it.
In other words, children who are not vaccinated risk the infection and exposure of potent diseases for others, even those wise enough to be vaccinated.
Herd immunity is the term for when the majority of the populace has been vaccinated and can prevent a virus from finding a host in which the viral strand can mutate and become resilient to existing vaccines. Simply put, failure to vaccinate a person allows diseases to find hosts and grow more powerful, eventually destroying their human host.
The problem with the anti-vaccination movement is that it doesn’t only stem from people unaware of vaccines’ purposes, but from the widespread misinformation people are encountering online. The movement has encountered a lot of support, but simply because many of the followers assume that vaccines are a government mandated hoax. This type of belief could not be further from the truth.
Vaccinations have done an incredible service to humanity. They have prevented mass epidemics and large mortality rates. According to the CDC website, vaccines have reduced the infection and spread of fourteen major diseases. These include Polio, Tetanus, Influenza, Hepatitis A and B, Rubella, Haemophilus Influenza (Hib), Measles, Whooping Cough, Pneumococcal Disease, Rotavirus, Mumps, Chickenpox and Diphtheria (CDC.Gov).
All of these ailments caused the death and infection of millions before the introduction of vaccines. Since the invention, universities, schools and workplaces have required shots preventing most of the diseases listed above. The numbers of those infected compared to the growth of our population serve more than justification of their success.
For those still doubting the integral role of vaccines, feel free to browse the internet to learn more about vaccinations. While you’re at it, be sure that your resources are valid and do not come from uninformed YouTube conspiracy videos or other uneducated sources.