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Vaccinations And The Anti Vaccination Movement

opinionated Essay
719 words
719 words
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In 2000, measles was officially eliminated from the United States [1]. Recently, in 2014 the United States had its highest number of reported measles cases within the first five months of a year since 1994 [2]. The surge in measles cases is attributed to the rise of an anti-vaccination movement powered by parents who have become distrusting of vaccinations. In a United States National Consumers League survey from 2014 it was found that nearly one-third of adults believe that vaccinations can cause autism [3].
I was first introduced to the anti vaccination movement through television talk shows and news clips highlighting celebrities and their newfound purpose to wage war on vaccinations. When coverage of consequences to vaccinating children is spreading and well-known faces are telling you that vaccines are harmful it urges you to blindly accept what they are saying or at least research the topic being discussed. Unfortunately researching the topic can be confusing and without the proper knowledge you can be misled by strongly worded and persuasive arguments from unreliable sources. The confusion leads many people to not do anything at all and refrain from having their children vaccinated. Parents will favor a potentially harmful omission over less harmful acts [4]. From the inaction or purposeful refusal of parents more children are not being vaccinated. Once a certain percentage of the population becomes susceptible to a communicable disease the entire population runs the risk of losing its herd immunity, opening the gates for a resurgence of disease. This is being seen currently with the return of measles in the United States. This is an unfortunate and devastating occurrence that risks many lives. The return of measles is mad...

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...e another and push for a more broad scope of communication with the general public [5]. The experts within the scientific community can no longer rely on blind trust to obtain the general public’s approval. The scientific community will continue to lack presence within the general public if they are not present in the forums and spaces where the general public obtains its information. Some instances of this are already at work. Science based YouTube channels and scientific news sites have gained a strong foothold in the online community. They offer fun and innovative ways to inform and discuss scientific topics with the public. If more major journals and institutes focused on supporting these initiatives and educating the public hopefully there would be fewer people misled by misinformed activists or commercial interests and public health would change for the better.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the surge in measles cases is attributed to the rise of an anti-vaccination movement powered by parents who have become distrustful of vaccinations.
  • Explains that the anti-vaccination movement was introduced through television talk shows and news clips highlighting celebrities and their newfound purpose to wage war on vaccinations.
  • Opines that there is little to dispute in regards to the benefits of vaccinating vs. not. vaccinations have the power to prevent certain communicable diseases and the ongoing body of research continues to test their safety.
  • Argues that the anti-vaccination movement is promoting a general mistrust of scientists and debilitating skepticism with the potential for disastrous results.
  • Opines that the public, policy makers, and the scientific community should work to establish constant open and fair communication about public health.
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