Why everyone should be vaccinated

People need to be vaccinated. This shouldn’t be a controversial or debatable statement, but there are still people that argue against it. These people, called “anti-vaxxers”, become especially visible during flu season. This flu season is the worst one in a decade, according to the CDC, so the amount of people refusing to get their flu shots and encouraging others to do the same is extremely concerning.

  Although this might be shocking to some, vaccines do their job of keeping people from getting sick.   The number of reported cases for serious diseases drops dramatically after a vaccine for the disease is licensed. Take measles, for example. In 1958, there were around 763,000 reported cases of measles.Then, the first measles vaccine was licensed in 1963, and it’s helped lower the number of measles cases; there were only 63 cases of measles in 2010. That’s a 99.99% decrease. While people might not believe it, the facts show that vaccines do keep you from getting sick.

 If the idea of keeping yourself from getting sick isn’t enough to convince you to get vaccinated, how about the idea of getting vaccinated for the safety of others around you? Some people aren’t able to get vaccinated for a variety of reasons, such as age or other health conditions. Because of this, these individuals are more susceptible to contracting dangerous but vaccine-preventable diseases. It’s the responsibility of the people who can get vaccinated to protect those who can’t. Getting vaccinated keeps people who physically cannot be vaccinated from getting sick.

This flu season is the worst one in a decade, according to the CDC, so the amount of people refusing to get their flu shots and encouraging others to do the same is extremely concerning.”

  Some people are skeptical of getting their vaccines because of the fear that vaccines cause autism. These fears are caused by a 1998 study by British medical researcher Andrew Wakefield that suggested that vaccinating children caused autism. This study was proven to be fraudulent; Wakefield’s claim was discredited and his paper was retracted. Even though the claim that vaccines cause autism was found to be fraudulent and has been disproven by numerous other studies (that were not fraudulent), people still believe it. Vaccines don’t cause autism, so fears that they do should be laid to rest.

  Others are concerned about the possible side effects that come along with vaccines. The fact that vaccines come with a chance of side effects is true, but the side effects are quite minor and go away quickly. Some of these side effects include pain at the site of injection, headaches, and mild fever. The effects that come with vaccine-preventable diseases are far worse and could even be irreversible or deadly in some cases. For example, becoming infected with polio (a vaccine-preventable disease) develop paralysis. So parents who are skeptical about vaccinating their children because they fear the side effects should ask themselves a question: “Would I rather subject my child to some possible minor side effects, or run the risk of them contracting polio?” I know what my answer would be if I were in that situation.

  Remember earlier when I mentioned the unbelievable decline in measles cases thanks to the use of vaccines? We were close to eradicating measles entirely, but now it’s making a comeback thanks to anti-vaccine efforts across the country. Now even more people are susceptible to a preventable disease. There should be no question about it: everyone should be vaccinated. There’s proof that vaccines do their job in keeping you from getting sick. People who can get vaccinated also have a moral obligation to people who can’t get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated keeps you and everyone around you from getting sick. The decision to get vaccinated shouldn’t be a difficult one to make.