Risk Vs Reward; The Continuing Vaccination Question

1547 words - 7 pages

Risk Versus Reward: The Continuing Vaccination Question
As young Americans living in the twenty first century, vaccines have always had a place in our lives. It is taught to us at a young age that vaccines are not only beneficial but necessary to the pursuit of healthy and long lives. For decades, we have been giving vaccines to ourselves and our children without question because the doctors say we should and they have the education, not us. The number of vaccines that children are mandated to receive continues to rise at an alarming rate. Currently, children receive approximately fourteen different vaccinations before the age of two Many of these vaccinations require multiple ...view middle of the document...

This is contradicting to the rationale used to promote breastfeeding. Health care professionals teach the importance of breastfeeding because infants have immature immune systems and need the mother’s anti-bodies from breast milk to keep them healthy. If an infant’s immune system is not strong enough to handle the regular Bactria and viruses of the world, how can the same immature immune system build up anti-bodies from a vaccine within hours after birth?
Vaccines are considered the number one health achievement of the twentieth century ("Achievements in Public Health”). Mass vaccinations and the herd immunity they provide are believed to have saved countless lives since their introduction. On average it takes the body a week or longer to detect, identify, and build up antibodies to unknown microbes. For some diseases a week is long enough to inflict lasting permanent damage or even death. Since the introduction of the Polio, Smallpox, and Diphtheria vaccines, the United States has experienced a one hundred percent decrease in reported cases of these diseases. Compared to the twentieth century baseline other serious diseases have had decreases in cases in the ninety to ninety nine percent ranges (“Vaccines."). The early age of vaccination is believed to protect children sooner from the serious complications of the illnesses they prevent. This is the rational for the early age at which vaccinations begin. However, the question has been raised about whether or not the repeated manipulation of the immune system with multiple vaccines in the first few years of life could be an unrecognized cofactor in the epidemics of disability and chronic disease (Fisher "In the Wake of”).
Still, scientists will argue there is no proof that the number of vaccines or the age at which the child receives the vaccine can alter or affect the mental or physical outcome of a child. The ethics behind actively researching such a delicate issue will always prevent the matter from being thoroughly and unbiasedly investigated. Crude data from select populations are accepted as facts for an entire nation. To say no child has ever been harmed by vaccination would be a blatant lie. Thimerosal is a preservative that was used in multidose vaccines until 2001. This preservative contained 49.5 percent ethyl mercury (James 1). Neurotoxicity is a side effect of all forms of mercury (James 6). Thimerosal, despite its high mercury content is still being used as a preservative in flu vaccines and in other vaccines used throughout the developing world (James 2). From vaccines early beginnings brain inflammation has been a documented and deadly side effect. In 1796 the Smallpox vaccine caused brain inflammation in one out of every 3,200. In the 1800's one out every four hundred people inoculated with the Rabies vaccine suffered brain inflammation (Fisher). With taxpayer dollars, the US Federal Government's National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) has paid out over three...

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