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.