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Argumentative Essay On Anti Vaccination

The Anti-Vax Issue According to World Book Advanced Encyclopedia, immunization is defined as the process of protecting the body against disease by means of vaccines or serums (Hinman). While medical science backs up the efficiency and necessity of vaccines, within the past decade, a rise in parents disbelieving the medical community and neglecting to immunize their children has occurred. This “fear of vaccines” is nothing new, but with the ever-increasing safety of vaccines, the benefits of inoculation far outweigh the risks. Parents who refuse to vaccinate, or anti-vaxxers, put more than their children’s lives on the line, but also risk the safety of the whole community. Because vaccines are essential to protecting individuals and communities…show more content…
Those who choose not to vaccinate their children are endangering the health of those unable to be vaccinated themselves, such as infants, pregnant people, and the immunocompromised, by jeopardizing community immunity. According to vaccine.gov, a federal government website managed by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, community immunity or “herd immunity” occurs when “a critical portion of the 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” (Community Immunity). An infographic featured in an NPR article entitled “How Vaccine Fears Fueled the Resurgence of Preventable Diseases” illustrated the rise in measles cases in Western Europe and of pertussis (whooping cough) cases in the U.S (Doucleff). In the first eight months of 2014, there were eighteen measles outbreaks, and six hundred cases of measles. This is incredibly dangerous because outbreaks give these diseases the opportunity to evolve and become resistant to vaccines, putting even vaccinated children at risk (Harmon). Parents making the decision not to vaccinate are doing so out of a place that all parents share: a desire to keep their children healthy. However, these anti-vaxxers are basing their decision not on…show more content…
Because of vaccines, the prevalence of diseases that used to kill hundreds of thousands every year is extremely low. Because these diseases have been all but eradicated, the majority of parents have seen neither these diseases, nor their devastating symptoms. As stated by William Schaffner, chair of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, “We’ve become prisoners of our own success. Nobody knows what measles is (Parker).” In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of 315 people were surveyed on their attitudes toward vaccines. After the survey, the subjects were divided into three groups. One group was given the most recent research showing no link between vaccines and autism; another was read a paragraph written in a mother’s voice, describing her child’s contraction of measles, shown three pictures of children with measles, mumps, rubella, and read warnings about the dangers of not vaccinating. The third group, as a control, was given an unrelated science article to read. After the experiment, the subjects were tested again on their attitudes toward vaccines. The group who was shown the diseases’ approval rates jumped five times higher than the
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