Anti-vaccinators’ choices hurt everyone

Measles and whooping cough are among the diseases spreading because of the anti-vaccination movement. 

The movement started with a possible link between vaccinations and autism. A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study showed that an aggressive vaccination schedule does not increase risk of autism.

Instead of following fact-based evidence, some parents are deciding to risk their children’s lives with illnesses such as measles, polio and whooping cough. Not only do they risk their children’s lives, but the lives of others as well. 

People magazine reported that an Ohio teenager chose to get himself vaccinated without his parent’s approval. His parents are against vaccinations. All his life, he lived without any vaccinations, along with his four other siblings.

The article, by Julie Mazziotta, said that as soon as Ethan Lindenberger turned 18, he went against his parents’ beliefs. There had been countless times when Ethan tried to reason with his parents but always heard the reply, “that’s what they want you to believe in.” Blown away and angered by the fact that his parents were stuck in their delusion of vaccinations being a government control theory, he took matters in his own hands. 

His parents, especially his own mother, were angered by his decision, but his more understanding father, on the other hand, realized he could do what he wanted since he is legally an adult. 

Famous celebrities, such as Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy, don’t believe in vaccinating their children. With the power of social media, celebrities use their platforms to voice their opinions on many topics. With that power comes a responsibility to present facts. 

Vaccinations have been helping people all over the world since 1796, so why stop now? Because a comedic actor and a D-list podcast personality said they don’t believe in it? People should learn to read scientific articles about this issue instead of reading click-bait articles on Facebook.

The measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest is a perfect example of what happens when parents don’t vaccinate their children. Vaccinations are designed to protect humans and are proven to save lives. Although the level of protection for vaccinations varies depending on which vaccine it is, they have been scientifically proven — repeatedly — to decrease the chance of catching a disease. 

That is not something to debate, it’s a fact. There is a reason why diseases like smallpox and polio no longer exist in America. Being a parent and failing to vaccinate your child, is reckless and irresponsible. It is unfair to those who make the right decision to vaccinate their children. 

It is clear that the benefits of receiving vaccines far outweigh any possible risks. We need to stop this war on facts, and begin believing what the experts are saying. 

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