Vaccinations prevent diseases for current and future generations

Shari Boiskin, Eastside Opinions Editor

Vaccinations are a vital part of keeping people healthy and safe. However, there is a large and growing movement in America and other first world countries, which fights against the good name of vaccination. This anti-vaccination movement believes that the chemicals in the injection can cause disorders, such as autism.

The most common side effects of a vaccination are redness, swelling, and tenderness where the shot was given. If a child does get a high fever (higher than 103 degrees), hives, blue or black areas where the shot was not given, or has a seizure, then a doctor should be notified. Some people are allergic to the chemicals in vaccinations, but most are not. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is very rare for the side effects of a vaccination to be serious. The anti-vaccination movement is a movement fueled by misinformation.

Although no procedure is entirely flawless, vaccinations have done wonders for the modern era. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90 percent.” Most childhood vaccinations are 90 to 99 percent effective in preventing diseases. Also, before vaccinations are given to children, they are extensively tested to make sure that they are safe to use. Vaccinations can prevent babies from diseases while they are most vulnerable.

According to a study done by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in 2009, 42,000 Nigerian children died of diseases like tetanus and measles that could have been prevented by vaccination. In 2010, 300,000 Nigerian children died from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination.

Americans have access to vaccinations that can prevent their children from becoming sick and dying. That is why, this past June, the state of California passed a law requiring every child to be vaccinated. Religious and personal beliefs can no longer exempt someone from the procedure, except for medical reasons, such as a weakened immune system and children undergoing chemotherapy. This law was passed partly as a result of a measles outbreak this year at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, that left 131 people infected. The California vaccination law is the strictest vaccination law in the country. The only other states to have similar laws are Mississippi and West Virginia. Attempts to pass vaccination laws failed in both Washington state and Oregon.

If people against vaccinations are so concerned with what they are putting in their children’s bodies, then they should boycott the FDA for what they allow to be put into foods. Modern medicine saves lives; that is a fact.

The smallpox vaccination helped kill smallpox off worldwide. People no longer have to be immunized for smallpox because it no longer exists. If we continue to vaccinate, there is hope that diseases like polio and measles will not exist by the time the next generation is born. By being vaccinated, we do not only prevent diseases now, but we also prevent them in the future.