Vaccination should be mandatory

JAMES WAMPLER/ Staff Writer

The Anti Vaccination movement is strange, to say the least. It is basically a bunch of parents putting their own kids in danger by refusing to get them vaccinated. Why are they doing this, you may ask. Well, it is in large part because of a discredited study released in 1998 claiming that vaccines cause autism. This needs to change. I think vaccination should be mandatory.

According to The US National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, the study had the ridiculously small sample size of 12 children and was both extremely uncontrolled and speculative. As well, it was revealed that the man conducting the study was secretly being funded by the lawyers of parents in a lawsuit against vaccine-producing companies. But the poor design and secret funding is not stopping parents all over the world from refusing to vaccinate their children based on some bogus greed-fueled study from the late 80s.

Anti Vaxxers argue that both the amount of vaccinations and the amount of cases of autism have risen similarly; however, this has nothing to do with vaccines causing autism, instead it is because we have gotten better at diagnosing autism over time. What seems to be an increase in autism rates is actually just more cases of autism being recognized for what it is.

The reason the Anti Vaxx movement is a big problem is that children with preventable diseases can end up dying because their parents refuse to vaccinate them. According to The New York Times, this has led to an increased amount of flu deaths recently. Most of the children dying are those who were not vaccinated. These deaths are completely preventable, but Anti Vaxxers are letting it happen.

And it’s not just the flu. Measles is making a comeback due to a lack of vaccinations as well! And it is causing lots of perfectly preventable deaths. All because a whole lot of parents are deciding not to vaccinate because of some discredited, greed-fueled study from the 80’s.

Another one of the big issues with the Anti Vaxx movement is that it prevents herd immunity. Herd immunity is basically when people who cannot get vaccines due to allergies or other medical reasons are still protected from illness because those around them are not infectious due to being vaccinated. However, all it takes is one unvaccinated person to give these people an illness, meaning people who cannot get vaccinated also die a completely preventable death.

According to The Los Angeles Times,some Anti Vaxxers are falsely claiming their children cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons. This is because in 2015 a bill in California made it no longer possible to not vaccinate your children due to personal beliefs. However, in just the 3 years between then and now, medical exemptions have more than tripled, going from .2% to 0.7%.

Some of this rise can be accounted for by the fact that some people with real medical issues were using personal beliefs as a reason because that was easier than going through the trouble of getting an actual medical exemption. However, a majority of this rise is most likely anti vaxxers lying about their children’s medical conditions. This is further corroborated by the fact that a lot of doctors are simply handing out medical exemptions for a fee, not even checking if the child actually has the condition.

Vaccination should be mandatory. This would stop the Anti Vaxx movement. This would lead to less deaths due to preventable illness.

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