The Theory Behind Vaccines And Its Effects On Children

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The theory behind vaccines was developed in Europe in the 1800’s, after an English doctor, Edward Jenner used a small dose of the cowpox virus to protect against it in 1796. The principal of immunisation is that the introduction of a small amount of a virus or germ via injection empowers the body’s immune system to recognise and eradicate the foreign material if it is to ever appear again. It is especially important for babies and children to be immunised as their immune system is not fully developed and they are very susceptible to many illnesses. Vaccinations have significantly lowered the occurrence of diseases such as whooping cough and tetanus. However; in recent years there has been a movement growing against vaccination, whether it is for religious, philosophical, medical or conscientious reasons, some parents refuse to immunise their children. Many believe vaccinations are linked to diseases such as autism and injecting a child with foreign material is unnecessary and will weaken their immune system. Vaccines, through various studies over a long period of time, have proven to be an effective method of protecting against common diseases like the chicken pox. Vaccines work by injecting dead or weakened antigens into the body to trigger immune cells called lymphocytes to produce its own antibodies, as though the body has been infected with a disease. This is called "active immunity". If the vaccinated person then comes into contact with the antigen again, their immune system will recognise it and immediately produce the antibodies they need to fight it. New-born babies have a short time (a few weeks) where they are protected against diseases their mother has been vaccinated against, as these antibodies have been passed throu... ... middle of paper ... ...ause of their weaker immune systems but some parents believe they are harmful and unnecessary and ill supress their natural immune system. All aspects should be considered before choosing whether or not to vaccinate but it is important to remember all the good immunisation has brought about and not be too quick to assume they will cause only harm to your child. In my opinion, I believe the benefits far outweigh the risks and believe immunisation of children should be compulsory unless there is a genuine medical reason. Putting other children at risk because of a generally scientifically unsupported fear, when study after study has shown the positives that vaccinations have brought to the world seems very negligent on the parent’s behalf. Every measure should be taken by parents to allow their children, as well as everyone else’s around them the best shot at survival.

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