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The Blue & Gray Press | May 26, 2018

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Vaccines necessary for good health


Measles, mumps, polio and small pox are diseases that most of us probably have never actually contracted. Most likely, we have not even had to think about these illnesses. However, these diseases, as well as other serious illnesses, may become more and more apparent due to a new, absurd anti-vaccine movement that has spread like wild fire across the U.S.

The Vaccination Liberation group is one specific group that has organized against vaccinations. As they state on their website, “Vaccination Liberation is part of a national grassroots network dedicated to providing information on vaccinations not often made available to the public so that one can make the only informed choice, complete avoidance and refusal.”

This movement has parents across the world fearing common immunizations that are necessary for children to be immune to potentially deadly diseases. Vaccines contain weakened versions of the illness that it is supposed to fight against. This allows the immune system the opportunity to build a defense and thus make you immune to the disease.

The advocates for this movement believe that the chemicals in many vaccines are too harmful to inject into their children’s bodies and, more importantly, anti-vaccination advocates believe that these chemicals are actually causing autism in young children. The chemicals that are used to make vaccines are scary to read about if one is not properly educated on why they are actually inside these immunizations. For instance, formaldehyde is used in vaccines and often scares parents. However, it is only used because this chemical prevents the virus from reproducing and making the receiver sick.

The allegation that certain vaccines can cause autism in children has never been proven. Parents also worry about mercury being used in vaccinations, which makes sense since it is very dangerous to the human body. Once again, upon further investigation, parents would find that the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that the use of mercury-containing preservatives in vaccines has mostly ceased as a precaution since 1999. Therefore eating half of a tuna fish sandwich, which contains 28 grams of mercury, would put you at greater risk for mercury poisoning than being immunized.

With all of this being said, over 90 percent of the population has been vaccinated, according to Forbes magazine, so there truly is no danger being around a child who is not vaccinated if you yourself have been immunized. However, the most troubling thing about this movement is how wide spread these false ideas have become and how potentially dangerous this practice can be to the youth in our society.

This article is not to make you believe that the parents who believe in this practice are not entitled to their own choice. However, I believe that, if parents are going to choose not to immunize their children, they should simply know all the facts first before making such drastic, uneducated decisions.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that all vaccines have common side effects, ranging from soreness at the application site to a stuffy nose. The occurrences of serious side effects, such as brain damage or seizures, are reported to have happened once in every one million doses. Even though the CDC reports this, they also report that there is not enough evidence to actually prove that these problems occurred because of the vaccine and not as a coincidence alone.

U.S. autism rates have increased drastically, but this is not due to early childhood immunization but actually due to the fact that there are more accurate diagnoses of the disease as a whole than ever before.

The CDC reports that in the year 2008 one-in-88 children were diagnosed with autism, which is a major leap from one-in-110 children the previous year.

Ironically enough, choosing not to immunize children for fear of them becoming deathly ill, although there is no actual evidence to prove this myth, only hurts these children in the long run.

Instead of protecting them from contracting these illnesses, not immunizing children only puts them at higher risk of contracting these potentially deadly diseases. Just because something serious occurs right after an immunization does not mean that the two incidents are related at all. Correlation is not causation.


  1. Babs

    And not a single citation for any of these points. Just another opinion piece. 🙁

  2. Twyla

    Really? Smallpox may become “more apparent” due to anti-vaccinationists?

    Um, we don’t even vaccinate against smallpox any more.

  3. Twyla

    re: “The occurrences of serious side effects, such as brain damage or seizures, are reported to have happened once in every one million doses. Even though the CDC reports this, they also report that there is not enough evidence to actually prove that these problems occurred because of the vaccine and not as a coincidence alone.”

    Actually, side effects are so poorly tracked and understood that we really don’t know the number of serious reactions, and they can continue to claim “no proof” because they don’t even know what kind of proof to look for, thus every event can be summarily dismissed as coincidence.

  4. Twyla

    Sometimes vaccines do cause autism, for example:

    Hannah Poling

    Bailey Banks

    R.J. Peete

    Russell Rollens


    Biological Plausibility of Vaccine-Induced Autism

    Unanswered Questions from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program: A Review of Compensated Cases of Vaccine-Induced Brain Injury
    “This preliminary study suggests that the VICP has been compensating cases of vaccine-induced encephalopathy and residual seizure disorder associated with autism since the inception of the program. Through this preliminary study, the authors have found eighty-three cases of autism among those compensated for vaccine-induced brain damage.”

    Leading Dr.: Vaccines-Autism Worth Study
    “CBS News has learned the government has paid more than 1,300 brain injury claims in vaccine court since 1988, but is not studying those cases or tracking how many of them resulted in autism.”

  5. Twyla

    I’m not saying that all vaccines are bad. I do believe that vaccines are an important weapon in the war against serious communicable diseases. But our current vaccine program is out of control. Adverse reactions need to be better understood, for the sake of prevention, treatment, and identifying susceptibility factors.

    A good article on this imbalance:

  6. eh

    I don’t have very high standards for the Bullet’s “reporting.” But 28 grams of mercury in a tuna fish sandwich? The average can of tuna is about 79 grams once it’s drained of the water/oil it’s packed in. That means that canned tuna is over 1/3 mercury, according to your claim.

    The “article” states that the anti-vaccine movement has spread like wildfire in the US. A few lines later the “article” states that the anti-vaccine program has parents around the world worried. So is this a story about the domestic anti-vaccine movement, or the international one? Btw, in most (at least developed) nations, childhood vaccination is not controversial. It is in many EU countries mandated and the choice to not immunize a child requires parents to sign legal paperwork indicating that they are deciding to keep their child unimmunized despite the fact that they are endangering not only their child’s life, but all those around them.

    Formaldehyde in vaccines are used to ensure that the disease elements are inert. Formaldehyde is removed before the vaccine is shipped out and so with the exception of a very small number of vaccines (anthrax being one of them), there is no formaldehyde in the finished vaccine as administered by physicians.

    And Twla, smallpox isn’t vaccinated against anymore because it was eradicated. Through vaccination campaigns.

    Childhood immunization and parental declinations is a serious topic that merits serious discussion. Not this slipshod effort by the Bullet. But thanks, I guess.

  7. Twyla

    @Eh – Right, we don’t vaccinate against smallpox because it was eradicated. Yet the author of this article appears to be saying that if people opt out of vaccines smallpox will return. Since we no longer vaccinate against smallpox that is nonsensical fear-mongering.

    If someone, for example, decides not to give their newborn a hepatitis B vaccine, that won’t cause a smallpox outbreak.

  8. 2010 alum

    I think that the author(s) of this “article” are just bad writers. I think the fear-mongering you’re accusing them of is simply a case of nonexistent research and poor writing.

    The editors of the Bullet should feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that they were trying to say that by not vaccinating children, they are left vulnerable to communicable diseases. You admit that not all vaccines are bad and that they are an important weapon against communicable diseases. I would say that vaccines are the only weapon against communicable diseases. Unless you want to walk around in full body protective gear, a la Naked Gun, because those face masks people are so fond of wearing during outbreaks do next to nothing against viruses and most bacteria–the pores are too large to be effective. Either that or we can all live in hermetically sealed little bubbles and interact with the world exclusively through technology.

    Not only are parents endangering their own children when they refuse vaccinations, but they are endangering all those around them. Vaccines do not have 100% effectiveness, but even a vaccine that has a “low” effective rate of 60% (like the current season’s flu vaccine), that still means that those individuals are 60% less likely to get ill. If everyone around them has been vaccinated, the effectiveness of that vaccine is 60%, but as soon as you introduce people who have not been vaccinated, that effectiveness drops. For diseases that are normally vaccinated for in children, such as MMR, varicella (chicken pox), and others, vaccine effectiveness is very high. But every single child who is unvaccinated lowers a vaccine’s ability to protect. This is a public health issue. The closest analogy I can think of would be second-hand smoke. By and large the public opinion is that a nonsmoker’s right to breath clean(ish) air is more important than those of a smoker’s right to smoke. Public health is about serving the greater good, and unvaccinated children are not just a risk to themselves, but to the entire community. If a parent’s decision only endangers their own children, that’s fine. Tragically misguided, but within their rights as parents to raise their children the way they see fit. But when that right interferes with other parents’ freedom to send their children to public school, to interact in public playgrounds with other children, to take public transport, to breath the same air as everyone else without fearing that they will catch a life-threatening, vaccine-preventable disease, I think that needs and safety of the many outweigh the “peace of mind” of a few.

  9. Twyla

    Speaking of “the greater good”, there is a great movie called “The Greater Good”. These issues aren’t as simple as you think, alum.

    You said that I “admit that not all vaccines are bad and that they are an important weapon against communicable diseases.” I didn’t “admit” that; I simply stated that.

    1. Confess to be true or to be the case, typically with reluctance.
    2. Confess to (a crime or fault, or one’s responsibility for it).

    But this isn’t black-and-white, not just all-good or all-bad. Like medicines which may help some people but hurt others, be beneficial at certain doses but harmful at higher doses, have risks worth taking when faced with a serious health condition but not something you want to just take whenever. As with medications or surgery or other medical treatments, we need honest evaluation of the risks of vaccines.

    You said that, “vaccines are the only weapon against communicable diseases”. That’s not true.

  10. ellle

    You should really consider reading about this “link” from a *recent* scientific source and not from an upset parent there is no such thing as causation between vaccination and autism. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a clear cause for autism, but parents like Jenny McCarthy who feed into people’s emotions by giving them something/someone to blame, then go on to say they ‘CURED’ their child of autism, aren’t credible.

    She seems to give sources if you read…she lists organizations where she’s getting this from, and doesn’t give much else in terms of heavy facts so I don’t see where the criticism is coming from. This is one of the better articles here in that aspect.

  11. Claire P.

    A lot of the comments I would make have already been said, but I wanted to add that my parents put hundreds of hours of research into their decision not to get me vaccinated, and I’m thankful for it. I have a great immune system, I’ve never gotten any kind of serious disease, and they chose not to expose my body to unnecessary foreign agents. Before you start spewing vitriol, try understanding the other side. Most anti-vaccine parents’ reasons have NOTHING to do with autism.