Why are people not keen on vaccines?


Kelly Kendall

The Anti-Vaccine Movement has been on the rise despite numerous outbreaks of diseases that had previously been nearly eradicated.

The needles and band-aids that are often associated with the doctor’s office as well spell fear for kids, but to a new group of people these shots can be seen as evil to an adult as well. Eighteen states in the U.S. allow parents to opt out of immunizing their children because of personal beliefs or philosophies. These policies have allowed the anti-vax community, a group of concerned individuals who believe vaccinations are unnatural and linked to a number of disorders such as autism, paralysis, death, or SIDS to thrive. Even some of the nation’s most prominent politicians are affiliated with the anti-vax movement. However, these claims can often be rebutted false, as vaccines are essential to the collective health of a nation and prevent some of the world’s deadliest diseases like measles and polio. Very few if any deaths that occured after a vaccination have been linked to the vaccine itself. No fatalities have been directly linked according to the CDC. When parents choose not to vaccinate their children, not only are they endangering their children’s life, but the lives of everyone around them as well.

The formation of the anti-vax movement was prompted by a study conducted 20 years ago by the now-discredited physician Andrew Wakefield, which concluded that children who received either the measles, mumps or rubella vaccines were more susceptible to “developing” autism, a neurological disorder that impairs a person’s ability to hold social interactions and the way they process information. Wakefield’s study was proven wrong, as countless medical professionals pointed out his falsified data and ill-supported claims. Unfortunately, this erroneous conclusion proved hard to eradicate, and it continues to add fuel to the anti-vax fire.

In North Carolina the anti-vax movement has already resulted in chaos. There has been a chickenpox outbreak in areas where people commonly opt-out of the vaccine. The Ashville Waldorf primary school recorded 36 cases of the chickenpox in November, according to the news publication the Independent. The school had 152 students at the time, and 110 of those kids had not been vaccinated. This sparks some worries towards pro-vaccine households in this area due to their own health risks.

There is clearly a sense of confusion when explaining the anti-vax movement to the uninformed. This is because there is confusion regarding the reason why anyone would be an anti-vax supporter. Obviously parents want to protect their children, and it’s understandable that parents don’t want to take the risk that they believe is present.

The main confusion for the anti-vax movement is whether or not it is directly linked to autism. This misleading rumor is false. Many of these false allegations are rising on the internet from anti-vaccine websites that allege the vaccine causes it. The only logical reason why you shouldn’t get a vaccine is if you’re allergic to it. Without the necessary shot, you are susceptible to a variety of diseases such as measles, the chickenpox and more, with some of these diseases being fatal.

There’s a clear moral to the story here; get vaccinated if you haven’t already. Rigorous medical testing is done before vaccines can even go on the market, so any life-threatening issues would be caught before it could ever reach you. If you have kids, vaccinate them. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.