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Nov 5, 2016   #1
Fighting the Anti-Vaccination Movement

There have been lots of conversations about vaccines in todays society. As times are changing in todays society, we are more open to expressing our ideas and opinions about what we want for ourselves and our loved ones. Vaccinations are a big topic today because we want to have more say in our medical decisions rather than before how we just listened and agreed with whatever the doctor recommended. Schools, physicians, and scientists have been raising concerns about the effects of not vaccinating our children and what the possible complications of not vaccinating as a society can cause. The movement of not vaccinating is causing a huge increase of cases of outbreaks of certain diseases that we typically vaccinate for. The sad thing is that all these illnesses could easily be prevented by a simple shot. Since many of the diseases that we vaccinate for are highly contagious and also highly fatal, it is a huge danger to not vaccinate and run the risk of contracting the disease. Vaccinating is also extremely important in our society because we live in such big cities and suburbanized areas that we have large populations so close together. With all of these people so close together it increases the risk for infection for any type of illness. So with all of the evidence about vaccinations how come parents still refuse to vaccinate their children? There are so many facts to prove that vaccinations are beneficial for us but some parents still refuse to allow it. What makes them turn there back of all of the medical studies and decide not to vaccinate?

Recently many parents, teachers, and doctors have expressed their interest in concerns regarding not vaccinating. There have been lots of recent situations where there are increased numbers of parents refusing their children's vaccinations. Schools are unsure of how to react to unvaccinated students attending there classes. Other parents of vaccinated students are raising concerns as to if their children are safe and if there is anything else they can do to help ensure their children stay safe at school. Many physicians offices dealing with patients, and parents, refusing vaccinations across the country. This has large effects on physicians and how they practice medicine. Since doctors deal with lots of sick people, they have to decide whether they allow patients who are not vaccinated into their office and run the risk of getting patients who are too sick to get their vaccinations even more sick, or not allow them to attend at all.

Rates of parents choosing to not vaccinate has been steadily increasing over recent years. Parents are getting the information about vaccines from social media websites, friends, news outlets and also from online research papers. Parents are also fighting with physicians about not vaccinating and saying they have personal beliefs against them. Parents have the right to refuse any medical treatment for their children who are minors and have the choice to go against medical advice. The hard part about that is parents, and doctors, have no way of being able to know or go with what the child wants or what they might want in the future. So if a parent refuses vaccinations they wont know if that child will one day want all of their vaccines. Parents are also stating that vaccines to do not work and that they are a big scam made so pharmaceutical companies can make more money. Pharmaceutical companies are the big drug companies that make all of the drugs and vaccines that are used in medicine today. Pharmaceutical companies off lots of benefits to our society as a whole and help protect us and keep us healthy.

The risks associated with choosing to not vaccinate your children is extremely high. There are high instances of infection that come with choosing not to vaccinate. Unvaccinated children are at a much higher risk of coming down with any illness because their immune systems and not as protected against these diseases. The likelihood of an outbreak increasing tremendously with choosing to not vaccinate. Since there is a huge population that are not vaccinating, our bodies are more susceptible to these diseases can also spread easily to and from one another. Risks of outbreaks at very popular public places also increases. Recently, there was a huge outbreak of the measles at Disneyland. One person came to Disneyland with the measles and dozens of people where then infected (CDC). There are huge effects on those who cant get vaccinated for medical reasons. Along with the obvious reason of they can contract the diseases, these people are at a much higher risk for contracting tons of other diseases due to not being vaccinated.

Schools are having to change rules that where previously enforced to allow unvaccinated students in. Schools are now bending the rules to allow for personal beliefs of not vaccinating to be enrolled in classes. Many schools have some type of rule or requirement that before a child is to start Pre-K or kindergarten they are to be up to date on all of their vaccines. Since parents are refusing vaccines, they have to come up with a solution as to how to accept these students into their class. Preschool teachers still are undecided on whether to let unvaccinated children to attend their class and if it puts other students at risk. Schools are also dealing with concerned parents as to how this effects their children. When parents of the vaccinated students find out their children are around others who are not vaccinated, one of their first concerns is if their child is safe. After that they want to know what effects, if any, this has on their child. Many people are not happy with schools having to change their policies on vaccinations. Parents and staff have their opinions on the topic as just as some parents don't agree with vaccinating, just as many parents do. Better education for staff and parents about the subject would help with the understanding of why parents choose to not vaccinate. If parents and staff are more equipped with the knowledge of how vaccines work and what the risks are, they might be more accepting of all the different opinions and ideas.

More parents coming in refusing vaccinations causing confusion at doctors offices as to why they do not want to vaccinate. Doctors and medical professionals keep trying to explain the importance of vaccines to their patients because they want all of their patients to be as healthy as possible. It is a constant struggle for those in the medical field trying to explain why people need vaccines but they still refuse them. Its almost like trying to fight a loosing battle because they are trying to explain something to someone who has no intention of changing their mind on the subject. Some doctors wont even allow patients who are unvaccinated to be treating at their offices because it creates a huge risk to those around them. They have to think of the benefit as a whole to their patients and to other people as to what would be in the greatest benefit to them. Many doctors are conducting their own research studies to prove the good in vaccines and to show others that they do work. These doctors are so adamant on proving that vaccines do work and that they are beneficial for society as a whole.

There are both risks and benefits to vaccines. Many parents believe that vaccines have greater risks than benefits. There are some risks to vaccines but they are greatly outweighed by the benefits. One of the risks of vaccines is that children are more susceptible to getting seizures. The reason young children get seizures after then get vaccines is because they tend to get a fever from the vaccines. Since children cant regulate their body temperature as well they tend to develop seizure whenever their temperature gets too high. According to an article by James By from the Wall Street Journal, parents believe that what is in the vaccine is what causes the seizures when in reality it is actually one of the rare side effects of taking any type of medication. Another risk is an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This is very rare and can be treated quickly after the vaccine is given. That is why when most vaccines or shots of medication are given for the first time, they make the patients wait somewhere in the office for about fifteen minutes to make sure that everything is okay and that there are no signs of an allergic reaction. The benefits to vaccines are that they give children so much protection from diseases that have cause numerous fatal outbreaks. In a society where we are extremely protective of our loved ones, we always want what is best for them and to make sure they are always safe and healthy. Parents to not want to get their children vaccinated due to all of the rumors about vaccines that could possibly harm their children. Vaccines also help keep very sick young children safe from these very powerful diseases that could easily kill them because of their lowered immune system. There are multiple diseases that effect children's immune systems to the point where their bodies just cant handle a vaccination. If all of the other children are vaccinated and safe then this would keep those children at a much lower risk of encountering an illness that could easily turn fatal for them. They help with outbreaks of diseases in third world countries. Vaccines also help countries that don't have the medical supplies that we do available to them. Many of these countries don't have half as much medical supplies or technology that we have here so any type of medicine is greatly accepted. These countries also show a huge improvement once vaccines are integrated into their systems. They have much less fatalities from diseases that could be easily prevented.

Many people believe there is a link between autism and vaccines. Autism has recently been a huge discussion in todays society as it seems there is more and more cases of Autism showing up in our children. Naturally parents want to understand where it is coming from and what the cause of Autism is. Many parents turned to the idea that it might be the vaccinations that cause Autism. There is no proven research that vaccines cause autism (By, 1) There have been multiple research studies to prove that vaccines are not the cause of Autism. There is currently no known cure for Autism or a known cause of Autism. Many parents still believe vaccines cause Autism because they still hear about these things through their social media websites or wherever they get their information even though there is multiple sources to prove it is not true. Since they found that vaccines don't cause autism parents are trying to find the cause to have more answers. If more parents where aware that vaccines do not cause Autism, the focus would be more on trying to find the actual cure.

Many researchers have also wanted to find out what the demographics of where parents and people who refuse vaccines live. A study done by Rong-Gong Lin II and Sandra Poindexter found that the demographics of those who refuse to vaccinate tend to live in more affluent higher end neighborhoods. They also tend to live in more suburban areas as well. Parents that tend to live in more suburban arenas don't vaccinate because they are much closer to each other and talk about the things they find out about vaccines. More young parents are choosing to not vaccinate their children rather than older parents. Older parents always vaccinate because thats the way it has always been as opposed to younger parents who are more willing to go against the normal.

Many parents who choose not to vaccinate are facing harsh criticism from the community for their beliefs. As many people have different viewpoints on anything, there is always going to be somebody that disagrees. Some parents believe that everyone should vaccinate for the sake of keeping all children safe and healthy. If everyone is protected then there is a lower chance of having deadly outbreaks of diseases. In the New England Journal of Medicine Saad B. Omer discuses how mandatory vaccines are a positive thing in todays society. He also discuses how vaccine refusal is a bad thing and is causing an increase in outbreaks of diseases. There are even protests against parents who choose not to vaccinate. Some people feel so strongly about these they want everyone to know about the concerns and what this can do to our society. Even with all of the harsh criticism parents still have their choice and preference to not vaccinate. It would be very hard for the government to mandate a law about vaccines since it is so hard for everyone to agree. Parents who choose not to vaccinate are still trying to prove their beliefs are better and even the facts will not change their mind. Even with all of that data and research to prove that vaccines are far more beneficial than they are detrimental, there is still a growing number of unvaccinated people.

So why are parents refusing vaccines after all of this? One of the reasons parents are refusing them is because they like to stick with what they know. If they heard and believed that vaccines are causing more harm than good they will refuse to allow their children to receive them. Parents also want what is best for their children. If they think that something could possibly harm their child they will do everything they can to keep their children safe. Parents are also hearing things from friends and other close people that they know and respect. If they respect them and respect their opinions they are more likely to listen to what they have to say and agree with there facts because parents think they are a reliable source of information. News outlets are also reporting on stories about vaccines and how they are effecting us. Since lots of people tend to watch the news and the news also tends to be unbiased, parents can also see the news as a reliable and should be a trusted source.

Times are changing with the way we see medicine and was of preventative care. The movement of anti-vaccination is changing our society and shaping it differently. Our society wont be the same in twenty years because of all the changes in vaccines that are currently happening. The anti-vaccination movement could possibly be extremely detrimental to our society as it can cause massive outbreaks of diseases that we didn't even know where possible because we vaccinated against them so long ago. Eventually we will have some type of regulation on vaccines as to how they are treated when parents choose to not vaccinate their children. We will have to implement some type of law or regulation as to how to accept and come to terms with those who are not vaccinated. Schools and doctors offices are also going to have protocols as to how to handle parents who are choosing not to vaccinate. Overall, our society is constantly changing and vaccine refusal and protocols will also change soon as well.

Works Cited

By, James B. "Children's Vaccines Raise Seizure Risks, Don't Cause Autism." Wall Street Journal, New York, N.Y., 2001.
Landro, Laura. "The Informed Patient: Grown-Ups Need their Shots, Too; Adults Ignore Vaccinations Despite Rise in Health Risks; A Test to See if You're Current." Wall Street Journal, New York, N.Y., 2003.

Lin, Rong-Gong,II, and Sandra Poindexter. "Schools' Risks Rise as Vaccine Rate Declines; the Outbreak Danger is Higher in Affluent Areas, a Times Analysis Finds. Parents Fear Shots More than Measles Or Mumps." Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif., 2009.

"Measles Cases and Outbreaks." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 18 Oct. 2016. Web. 03 Nov. 2016.
Omer, Saad B. "Vaccination Refusal Endangers Public Health." Epidemics. Ed. David Haugen and Susan Musser. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization, and the Risks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases." New England Journal of Medicine (May 2009): 1981-1988. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 6 Oct. 2016.