The Values Of Vaccinations

A boy wears a band-aid after getting his vaccinations (image courtesy of

Emily Swanson, Staff Writer

It’s that time of the year again; the time where many Americans go to the clinic to get their influenza vaccine. The question many parents have is to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5% of children entering kindergarten in 2015 were exempted from their required vaccinations. Unvaccinated children put themselves, their peers, and future generations at risk of deadly diseases.

Supposedly, unvaccinated children are healthier than vaccinated children. For example, statistics show that 1-2% of all unvaccinated children have ADHD compared to the 8% of vaccinated children in Germany. However, the study didn’t take other factors into detail such as diet, location, and parenting. Plus, the study was not accurate in the sense that they compared unvaccinated children everywhere to vaccinated children in Germany, therefore being invalid. The same study shows that 4 out of 7,600 surveyed had autism, but supposedly one in every 100 children in the U.S. have autism. Along with the reasons above, many sources have proven that vaccines do no cause autism, including the CDC and Autism Speaks.

Vaccines are safe and beneficial for the patient. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services states, “Vaccines are the best defense we have against serious, preventable, and sometimes deadly contagious diseases.” Without vaccines, there is nothing near a guarantee for safety. Plus, vaccines have totally eliminated several diseases and near-eliminated more. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, diphtheria, smallpox, and polio had no cases in the United States in 2009. Measles, mumps, rubella, HiB, and tetanus have all had over a 98% decrease in yearly cases compared to the 20th century. In fact, vaccinations have saved the lives of 732,000 children between 1994 and 2014.

Whole communities are saved from illnesses when the vast majority get vaccinated. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services states, “When a critical portion of a community is immunized against a contagious disease, most members of the community are protected against that disease because there is little opportunity for an outbreak.” This also protects those who cannot get vaccinated, such as infants, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals. According to the CDC, roughly 90% of parents vaccinate their children. This allows the remaining 10% to remain healthy. However, if the number of vaccinated children drop, diseases such as measles could make a comeback. There was a measles outbreak in 2005 when an unvaccinated American contracted the disease in Europe. The unvaccinated children in the area were infected. According to Dr. Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard School of Public Health, “The important concept is that vaccinating people protects not only them, but others in the community. If I’m protected, I can protect others.”

Vaccinations can totally eradicate diseases and protect future generations. Polio, for example, was eliminated from the U.S. over thirty years ago. During the height of the polio epidemic back in 1952, there were over 60,000 cases of the disease and over 3,000 deaths (Kids Health). When the vaccine was invented and became popular, the amount of polio incidents decreased. Now, parents don’t have to fear for their child’s life and ability because of an illness. High school students never knew the U.S.A to have polio. If children are vaccinated, then the future could hold less illnesses and diseases.

Everyone should get their vaccinations to protect themselves, their peers, and the people of the future.