Parents Who Refuse Vaccines for Their Children: Why Is There an Uneasiness Around Vaccination?

Parents Who Refuse Vaccines for Their Children: Why Is There an Uneasiness Around Vaccination?

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Since Edward Jenner’s first inoculation of the smallpox virus science has made leaps and bounds in the development of vaccines. Today the CDC recommends at least 16 vaccines for children. Through vaccines and crowd immunization we have eradicated polio and smallpox. There is no doubt that vaccines have helped human life grow and develop. However, there are growing concerns about side effects of vaccines. There are groups of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. Groups like this have lead to outbreaks of diseases we have not seen in decades. While there are those who doubt the efficiency of vaccines it is clear that vaccines are our only option to eradicate disease.
The main question is to why is there such an uneasiness around vaccinations? The answer is former Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Mr. Wakefield s a British former surgeon, known for his fraudulent 1998 research paper in support of the now-discredited claim that there is a link between the administration of the MMR vaccine and autism. He wrote two papers, both of which have been debunked. “Wakefield's hypothesis was that the MMR vaccine causes a series of events that include intestinal inflammation, loss of intestinal barrier function, entrance into the bloodstream of encephalopathic proteins, and consequent development of autism. In support of his hypothesis Dr. Wakefield described 12 children with neurodevelopmental delay (8 with autism). All of these children had gastrointestinal complaints and developed autism within 1 month of receiving MMR” (Immunization). After this first paper there was no real investigation into his findings until 2003, which gave ample time for panic to spread.
Finally in 2003, the British General Medical Council revoked Wakefield’s...

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...hemselves, then there would be no high at risk group at all. Pertussis is something that could easily be eradicated if information was readily available for parents to be.

Works Cited

• "Immunization." Autism and Andrew Wakefield. American Academy of Pediatrics. Web. 13 May 2014.
• Omer, Saad B., Dr. "Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization, and the Risks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases — NEJM." New England Journal of Medicine. Web. 13 May 2014.
• Sarah C.P. Williams, Babies Vulnerable When Mom Waits to Get Whooping Cough Vaccine, My Health News Daily,, October 6, 2011
• Sydney Lupkin, Marin County’s Efforts Against Whooping Cough Pay Off, The New York Times,, September 17, 2011

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