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In a world of medicines and “mommy bloggers”, there is a controversy between pro-vaxxers and anti-vaxxers. The vaccination controversy cause an uproar for many people, understandably, it’s very polarized- you strongly believe in them or you strongly do not. For me, at the age of 15, I strongly believe in the Pro-Vaccine movement and I have data that can back me up. For starters, you may wonder ‘what is a vaccine’ or ‘how to do they work’. For a general explanation, a vaccine is an introduction of a virus or part of a virus that allows your body to see it, to get used to it, to build up its defense, and to be protected if the real thing does come along. For a more in depth medical explanation, vaccines are replicating our body, naturally. If you are exposed to an antigen that you have never seen before, your body has to generate antibodies to fight this antigen- preparing its defense cell in its primary response- it’s preparing memory T-cell and B-cell.
Therefore, when the antigen is presented again, the second immune response is much faster, and inside of greater magnitude, therefore it’s not going to have the same power that it would if you were in primary immune response made by giving ourselves a weaker form of the strain of antigen. We’re preparing our body for that more powerful pathogen that could potentially infect us and kill us by not vaccinating. You can put the people around you in danger, if you choose not to vaccinate. Every contagious disease has a “herd immunization threshold”, which is a percentage of the population that must get vaccinated to protect the population from an outbreak. If this threshold is not being under controlled, it can result in a mass public health issue.
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Why are there anti-vaxxers? Anti-Vaxxers are known for their disagreement towards vaccinating their child. They believe that the Polio vaccine cause Polio and the Flu shot causes the Flu. They consider that the preservatives in vaccinations are toxic and it may lead to autism. However, the preservatives in vaccinations are there to prevent microbes and bacteria from forming in these vaccinations. There are many celebrities who are leading this controversy: Donald Trump, Alicia Silverstone, Kat Von D, and Jenny McCarthy. Alicia Silverstone, known for her role in the iconic movie- “Clueless”, explained her anti-vaccination stance in her 2014 book. In her book she stated, “While there has not been a conclusive study of the negative effects of such a rigorous one-size-fits-all, shoot’em-up schedule, there is increasing anecdotal evidence from doctors who have gotten distressed phone calls from parents claiming their child was ‘never the same’ after receiving a vaccine”. However, parents advisor Ari Brown, M.D., a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, and author of Baby 411, told parents.com, “Parents often have a hard time reasonably assessing the risks involved because they’ve never had any experience with many of the diseases that vaccines prevent. But I’ve seen children with serious cases of measles, mumps, and whooping cough, and I have seen a child die from chicken pox. I promise you that these are diseases you don’t want your child to get“.
Jenny McCarthy has been extremely vocal about the stance, her son Evan was diagnosed with autism in 2005, she blamed her son’s condition on the MMR shot received as a baby, among other vaccines. Our 45th President- Donald Trump, recently tweeted, “Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes- AUSTISM. Many such cases!”. This theory has been widely disproven, according to the CDC, Dr. Offit said, ”According to the CDC, there is absolutely no link between vaccines and autism. Experts believe that the association between the MMR shot and autism is almost certainly coincidental. Children get their first dose of the MMR vaccine at 12 to 15 months, the age at which autism symptoms typically become noticeable”. I believe that mommy bloggers and our 45th president should rethink their thoughts, because the realm of vaccine research has expanded and there’s no hard-core evidence.
How has the media presented this topic? The media focused on the Whakfield study in 1998, conducting the study was Dr. Wheatfield, he did it on twelve kids and found that there was an increased risk of getting autism if they got vaccines, more specifically- MMR vaccine. With a small sample to conduct ONLY twelve children, not a thousand or a hundred, popped us a red flag. His study shows that children had pervasive developmental disorder, affecting their GI tract, with a strong conclusion; some new type of autism, new phenotype of autism that manifested with GI symptoms and developmental regression, inferring that it has to do with the MMR vaccine. All of this set up the controversy, that autism has to do with vaccine. Wheatfield was paid $500,000 to create this link, because of a law company that wanted to make lawsuits, he claim that he found there was an increased rate, and his research was published. However, on that research paper 10 out of the 13 authors came out and retracted their statements, that there is a causation between autism and vaccines. Making the situation more suspicious, Wheatfield’s medical license was taken away.
As a pro-vaxxer- myself, the realm research for vaccines has expanded. People are looking into the preservatives like thimerosal, and how that affects certain diseases and disorders. There is no direct evidence that vaccines cause autism and that is a fact. Plus, the public wouldn’t allow vaccines to continue if there is evidence that vaccines causes autism, you have to have epidemiological studies, clinical trails and studies, and in-vitro replication web. Thimerosal a preservative in a lot of vaccines to prevent them from growing bacteria and etc. However, if it gets exceeded it’s not safe for children but there is no data that shows that the Thimerosal levels today cause any sort of central nervous system disorder. Before 1960, the amount of people that got measles was around 4 million and in 2005, there was 40 people, with no doubt- vaccines work or we would have polio and so many more diseases. There’s a shortage of vaccines throughout the world, unicef says that about one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease preventable by vaccines. I say, anti-vaxxers think again.
In conclusion, I would rather see my child with autism than dead. I find it incredibly selfish for those who decided not to vaccinate their kids, because first you’re putting your child in danger and secondly, you’re putting other people’s children in danger. Throughout medical researchers and doctors, we can conclude that there’s always a risk in everything. Just like putting on your seat belts, 1%-99% anything could happen, maybe it’s your own seat that kills you when you’re in a car crash. But, putting on your seatbelt could save you from many damages, and a ticket. Right now, the information presented to you, shows that vaccines are good, they have higher benefits than risk, and they protect us. Mommy bloggers and celebrities does not have a degree like doctors. With no doubt vaccinate yourself and kids.
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