Vaccines (Current Events)

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I recall learning in our class on vaccines that while vaccines are not 100% safe, nothing is, and the health risk of vaccines is so small that it is considered safe and ethical to administer. The reality is that there are so many risks in life that they are impossible to avoid altogether. If we accept the risk of serious injury from a car crash every time we get into a car, however, it is relatively safe to accept all recommended vaccinations to protect ourselves from serious disease. However, a recent movement against vaccinations has been brought upon by rare reports of children who developed autism after becoming vaccinated. These instances have yet to be confirmed by science, but have nonetheless caused an immense overreaction about the safety of vaccines. An outbreak of whooping cough in California in 2010 killed 10 people because many children were given religious exemptions to the vaccine.  Today, Pakistan is experiencing a polio epidemic because vaccinations have been resisted due to the Taliban's fear of espionage by health workers. Over 100 polio cases have been reported in the last few weeks, and over 240,000 children have still not been vaccinated.

It is unfortunate that politics is preventing medicine from doing its job. All of humanity should be working together to fight disease, and vaccines have been proven as the best method to do that. Diseases such as measles, polio, and whooping cough were once serious risks to not only our health but to the survival of the human race. Vaccines once eradicated these diseases, but they can come back and cause a serious health crisis again if vaccinations continue to be forgone. With old disease resurfacing and new diseases on the horizon, now is not the time to abandon our most effective defense because of a few news reports about vaccinations causing autism.

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Vaccinations definitely frighten me; however, not because of the shot itself. I do not mind the whole needle being pricked in my arm, but the long-term effects always cross my mind. For example, many people I knew in high school received the Gardasil vaccine which is an HPV shot that is supposed to prevent and fight strands of cervical cancer. I was convinced into getting all of the three vaccines as well. Although, now there are even people who worked with the company who has admitted that it may be harmful. In this article,, it explains that over 103 girls have died from this vaccine and many have had "adverse reactions" to the shot. That is so scary! Now I am nervous about it, because people are being harmed from short-term effects, no one knows if their are long-term side effects that could harm you!

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