Recently, there has been a big debate over the safety of vaccines. Some people have been led to belief that vaccinations cause autism; this is faulty information – vaccines are essential and necessary to keep diseases eradicated.
Elliot Zieman, Professor of Biology at Wilmington College, said, “Vaccines are the safest and most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. The key to vaccines is the prevention of diseases. Disease prevention means a vaccinated person is protected from acquiring and transmitting the disease.”
Because people are choosing not to vaccinate themselves, the country is seeing a comeback of once eradicated diseases: measles, mumps, and whooping cough. This is not an isolated case far from one’s home. If you live in Wilmington, it’s practically in your backyard -health officials confirmed 23 cases of mumps at Ohio State University.
“The recent rise of anti-vaccination sentiment has led to a sharp increase of diseases that were once almost eliminated,” said Zieman.
Some people cannot receive vaccines, but they must still take action to keep themselves healthy as well as consciously prevent the spread of disease. My three-year-old sister received a liver transplant last Halloween due to a genetic disorder. Because of her transplant, she has a compromised immune system and cannot receive vaccines.
Zieman said, “Another key aspect of vaccines is that they help build herd immunity. Herd immunity reduces the spread of disease because a smaller portion of the population is susceptible to the disease. Herd immunity reduces the risk of epidemics [widespread occurrence of a disease in a community] and pandemics [widespread occurrence of a disease globally]. Some individuals may not be eligible for, thus herd immunity is crucial to protecting these individuals that are unable to be vaccinated.”
If you are unsure about vaccines, obtain research from reputable sources such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Children’s Hospital websites, or by talking to a doctor. Do NOT trust random Facebook articles and always be sure to do fact checks. By getting your vaccines, you keep grandmas, babies, and your community safe.