The World Health Organization says that as of July 2018, roughly 20 million children under the age of one did not receive the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunization (DTP3), and about 1.5 million deaths worldwide could be avoided if they were to receive the vaccine. So why is it that there are so many people not wanting to vaccinate their children?
The first death of the 2018 flu season was a young girl under the age of five. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that around 97 children died this flu season alone, and continuing reports state that the majority of the deaths were unvaccinated children. Why? More and more children are becoming sick, contracting strands of viruses that have been eradicated for years. So why is it that parents are unwilling to save these children’s lives?
Since well into the 1800’s, there has been an opposition to vaccines. The History of Vaccines states that Edward Jenner proved that he could protect a child from the smallpox outbreak by “injecting him or her with a lymph from a cowpox blister.” This frightened everyone.
The fact that you could protect a child from sickness, using an already sick animal was crazy. Many of the Christians believed that it was “unchristian” as the vaccine came from an animal. However, the Vaccination Act of 1853 required that all infants three months old and under must be vaccinated. The people still fought it, but their children were well.
Flashforward to 1998, a mere 20 years ago, when Dr. Andrew Wakefield suggested that we start researching the link between “bowel disease, autism, and the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.” Of course, later we find that Wakefield had been paid off to state that there was an issue with the vaccine, and he has since been stripped of his medical license.
A book titled “Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism,” written by Peter J. Hotez MD, Ph.D., was published in October. In the book, Hotez discusses the myth that there is a link between the immunization his daughter received at 19 months old and her learning disability.
“We’ve seen deadly and disabling outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases around the country,” Hotez said.
Hotez is a vaccine scientist, meaning that this is his focus. He stares at strands of viruses all day and has been proven correct that there is no link between the vaccines and autism.
Now explain to me how you are going to let a failed doctor tell you that your child will develop autism if they receive a life-saving vaccine? Furthermore, what if your child is autistic? What difference does it make if they are still healthy and alive and you are still able to love them?
In the last decade, as the use of social media has increased and so has the percentage of vaccination refusal. The growing reliance on social media for the answers to everyday questions has made plenty of room anti-vaxxers to boost their cause. However, the Infectious Disease Advisor states that even though the anti-vaccination movement has been growing on the internet, social media can also offer a platform for pro-vaccination movements.
Do your research, folks. Don’t be scared to ask questions. Most importantly, vaccinate your children so that they, and the people they are around, stay safe.