For the life of me I can’t understand this ongoing trend of parents, some of them very vocal at that, who are trying to dissuade people from getting vaccinated. They claim that vaccination is just a THEORY… that it isn’t proven. Some claim vaccination causes autism. Some claim that it’s against nature.
What a crock of sh**.
Let’s take the beliefs they have one at a time, shall we?
Claim # 1: Vaccination is just a Theory and doesn’t work.
If vaccination doesn’t work… small pox would still be threatening the lives of children today. Instead, due to vaccination, the smallpox disease has been eradicated in 1979.
It is no more. A happy kind of extinction.
At its height, smallpox has claimed the lives of 300 to 500 MILLION children. Can you imagine being a parent and your baby gets lethally sick and looks like this:
Trust me, this is one of the less scary photos I could find. Imagine living in a time that this sort of lethal disease is still prevalent. There are countless other diseases that we are lucky enough to have vaccines for like Meninggococcal, .Polio, and Pertussis among many others.
These are the disease that vaccines have SUCCEEDED in fighting. These are the diseases that vaccines are controlling and have suppressed outbreaks. Below is an infographic that shows how effective vaccines have controlled diseases in the US alone.
However, because of this trend of parents not vaccinating their children, the cases of some potentially fatal diseases have risen again in recent years.
It’s one thing to be unable to afford vaccines like some families in the Philippines. It’s insanity to knowingly refuse vaccines even if they are available and affordable because of a mistaken .
Claim # 2: The MMR Vaccine Causes Autism
This claim is widespread. In Facebook alone, I have seen the same article pop up so many times through the years. Even minor celebrities like Jenny McCarthy have begun endorsing the anti-vaccination campaign since 2008 because she believes that her son’s autism is a direct effect of vaccination.
The thing is, the ONE and ONLY study that this whole farce is based on wasn’t even scientifically correct. It was a study based on only 12 children. TWELVE. That’s not enough to scientifically conclude ANYTHING. Even in our psych classes when we were tasked to make studies we were required to have a sample size of at least 100 people before the findings we make are even considered up to acceptable college paper standards.
Andrew Wakefield, the author of the said study was thoroughly investigated by a newspaper journalist and he found out that Mr. Wakefield committed fraud. The findings stated in the study were found to be intentionally fraudulent and completely skewed towards the goal of inciting panic and fear of the vaccine. Mr. Wakefied, apparently, was suspected of making the study to support a class action suit against the manufacturers of the MMR Vaccine.
Since the initial study was published, no other researcher has been able to duplicate the results of the study. The Lancet, where the study was initially published, has formally retracted the statements of the initial paper after “the claims in the original paper that children were ‘consecutively referred’ and that investigations were ‘approved’ by the local ethics committee have been proven to be false”.
The statement that MMR Vaccine causes autism is a MEDICAL HOAX. A 2011 journal article described the vaccine-autism connection as “the most damaging medical hoax of the last 100 years”.
Andrew Wakefield has single-handedly endangered the lives of so many children as parents, due to the fear his study has caused, have refused not just the MMR vaccine but vaccination as a whole. As a result, diseases that were virtually eradicated prior to the publication of this study has made a huge comeback and many people have died from diseases that should have been preventable.
Note that I haven’t been calling Mr. Wakefield a doctor. He was a doctor when he first published the study but he isn’t one now as he has since been banned from practicing medicine due to sufficient evidence of serious professional misconduct. He lost his medical license. He’s a fraud.
The truth is, children are diagnosed with autism at about the same time as the MMR vaccination is administered ONLY because it happens to be the same time that autistic children start to present visible symptoms.
The fact that until now, people believe in this study shows how much damage it has made.
Claim # 3: Vaccines are like injecting poisons into our bodies.
Sure there are a risks involved but they are very very minimal and are better than the alternative of risking getting the diseases. The fear of vaccines isn’t new. However, studies show that: Vaccines pose a minuscule immunologic load compared to the pathogens naturally encountered by a child in a typical year; common childhood conditions such as fevers and middle ear infections pose a much greater challenge to the immune system than vaccines, and studies have shown that vaccinations, and even multiple concurrent vaccinations, do not weaken the immune system.
In other words, you expose your child to more toxins by allowing them to play in the playground.
There are other concerns about the safety of vaccines but they have since been investigated and found to be lacking in merit.
I know, anti-vaccine advocates can say “it’s a conspiracy of the manufacturers to make more money!”. Historically, scientists can skew data all they want to support big business. However, in time, the truth will always come out.
Cigarettes used to be touted as safe and even doctor recommended.
The tobacco industry is a huge business. Despite all that money at theur disposal, they can’t cover up the huge number of people suffering from diseases directly correlated with the use of their product.
In a span of a few years, as more and more studies are supporting the fact that smoking destroys the lungs and as the number of people suffering from diseases or even die from the effects of smoking increased, it is now a law to indicate on the packaging itself that “Smoking is dangerous for your health”. In the Philippines, they are no longer allowed to advertise. Most public areas have banned smoking by law. All because cigarettes have been proven, scientifically, to be hazardous for our health with the dangers far surpassing the benefi ts.
Vaccines have been around for generations and until now, there is no study to support any of the anti-vaccination claims.
Vaccination has saved countless of lives. We are lucky to live in a time where we don’t need to see the pain and suffering of countless people caused by lethal outbreaks. We don’t have to live in a time of irrational fear that the air can kill us.
To reject vaccines based on a study that was proven fraudulent is insane.
Protect your kids, that’s our responsibility as parents.
Stop the madness.
Please…Vaccinate your kids.