“Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability.” (Osler) Making an informed decision to vaccinate is a challenging and irreversible one. Parents rely on friends, family, community, celebrities and health professionals for advice to influence this difficult choice. They must traverse a murky sea of prevarication and controversy to come to a critical decision. In fact, in 1998 a fraudulent study linked autism to childhood vaccines. “Andrew Wakefield, a former physician who has been eliminated from the General Register in the United Kingdom, fabricated data supporting a connection of the measles vaccine to autism, in a paper that was formally withdrawn.” (Chevenak, 2015) The study was retracted, although not before doing damage; countless parents panicked, their faith in the medical community wavered, and vaccination rates declined. Adding mud to the waters, both those who oppose and promote it are represented by highly educated people. “For example, there are reports of physicians stating publicly that they have not authorized vaccination of their own children.” (Chevenak, 2015) When experts disagree, it creates confusion for parents. “Parents are making decisions, sometimes driven by short-term vaccine scares, for children who have no choice or voice and who may become ill with easily preventable diseases later in life because of not being vaccinated as a child.” (H. Larson, 2012) Ultimately, parents must decide if the risk of vaccination is worth the possibility of their child contracting a potentially deadly disease. According to Chevenak, the opportunity of harm is extremely low compared to the risks from infection without vaccination. (Chevenak, 2015) After the erroneous information and controvers...
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...ent’s wish, to eliminate all possible risk, is impossible to achieve. They must decide to accept the risk of improbable reaction to a vaccine or face the prospect of catching an infectious disease. They are fortunate to feel safe from diseases that threatened children long ago, expecting today’s children to grow up strong and healthy. However, they cannot afford to become complacent and allow these diseases to threaten children now or in the future. Therefore, it is essential to vaccinate and maintain herd immunity in order to protect our community and possibly eradicate diseases. Children should be vaccinated, allowing them a chance to avoid deadly disease, protecting the community, and eliminating disease for future children. Vaccines are born from a science of uncertainty and are an art of probability providing security from the nearly forgotten illnesses.
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- “Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability.” (Osler) Making an informed decision to vaccinate is a challenging and irreversible one. Parents rely on friends, family, community, celebrities and health professionals for advice to influence this difficult choice. They must traverse a murky sea of prevarication and controversy to come to a critical decision. In fact, in 1998 a fraudulent study linked autism to childhood vaccines. “Andrew Wakefield, a former physician who has been eliminated from the General Register in the United Kingdom, fabricated data supporting a connection of the measles vaccine to autism, in a paper that was formally withdrawn.” (Chevenak, 2015) The... [tags: Vaccination, Vaccine, Smallpox, Immune system]
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