With the recent outbreak of measles in Disneyland, vaccinating children has become quite the controversy. Should vaccinating children be a law or is that against the constitution?
Essentially, what scientists have managed to do over the years, starting with Edward Jenner and cowpox, is make these diseases endangered. If everyone got these vaccines, these diseases would be extinct.
This list is compiled of all the vaccinations required for each state and when to get them. 114 cases of measles in the United States has been reported from December 28, 2014 to February 6, 2015. That is a period of forty days. That’s kind of ridiculous. I’ve attached a picture of the map representing the US and the measles outbreaks.
This map is directly from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) website. It doesn’t look like much, I admit. Yet. The measles outbreak started in California. All the states that California is touching (minus Nevada) have all gotten at least one case of measles. I’ve viewed the Measles page on the CDC’s website and one of the statistics that it included is that “… [Measles] is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.”
Measles can be spread by a simple cough or sneeze. From there, signs of having measles start with a fever. Followed closely by coughing, runny nose, red eyes and then a rash starting from the head and going down the body. From there it can escalate into pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and even death.
Measles, though regarded as a simple disease, can be really dangerous. That’s why we have these vaccines available to us. Many people are unable to get some vaccines because of their health (cancer, ect). These people are why it is so important for everyone else to get vaccinated so that we can protect these people unable to.
Allow me to elaborated the reason why many people do not want to vaccinate. This reason is known as Andrew Wakefield, a gastroenterologist in the UK. In 1998, Wakefield conducted a study, if one would even call it that. This study suggested that autism was connected to the MMRV vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella and chickenpox). His “research” contained so much bias that it made all doctors’ heads spin. Above all the bias, he went so far as to fix his data. His work is highly disregarded. Further research has proved that there is no connection between the vaccine and autism.
He came back into the public in 2011 at the age of 54 with a press conference in Texas. People still believe his research regardless of how many doctors have disproved it. From the Lancet, a UK newspaper, releasing his report, the number of people getting vaccines dropped.
Many people believe that because hygiene has become so good since the “olden days” that many diseases have been eradicated. Just like Wakefield’s report, this idea is also false.
In the graph attached, you can see a dramatic drop-off in the amount of Measles cases. That year was 1962, the year when the Measles vaccine was licensed.
In the 1980s through the 2000s, there were still cases of Measles in the United States, there were just so few cases that they do not appear on the graph.
The third, and most used, reason that they don’t vaccinate their children is because it is against their religious beliefs. I am very much a skeptic in the name of religion, but I do respect people’s choice of objects and people to worship.
A man named JD Grabenstein did a report on how vaccines play a part in religious studies. Granted, the flaw of his report is that he only focused on the main religions, not every single one of them; however, to study every single religion for something so specific would take a very long time.
This article summarizes Grabenstein’s research. He looked into Hinduism, Buddism, Jainism, Judaism, Christianity (including: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches, Amish, Anglican, Baptist, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Congregational, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist (including African Methodist Episcopal), Pentecostal, Presbyterian, and Seventh-Day Adventist Church), Amish, Christian Scientists, Dutch Reformed Church, Jehovah’s Witness, and Islam.
Roman Catholicism showed concern about aborted fetus cells that sometimes can be used in different vaccines, but overall shows no objection to vaccination. The Dutch Reformed Church is the only one out of those listed that has actual oppositions to vaccines themselves.
In a perfect world, diseases wouldn’t exist. Earth is far from a perfect world. Actions need to be taken. Vaccines need to be made mandatory (aside from medical reasons). With a bill being proposed by Governor Jerry Brown, it would make vaccines mandatory.
There are very few exceptions that are reasonable to not have your child vaccinated. I think really only one exception should be considered when deciding whether or not to pass this bill: health reasons.