Imagine a scenario where there are 200 people in a localized community where almost all of them are vaccinated, but 50 of them aren’t vaccinated. Suddenly, one of the unvaccinated gets sick. Soon, the disease has spread throughout the entire community and 100 of them are dead. The first victim was willfully unvaccinated, and thus caused the death of 100 other people. Are they to blame? As with all opinions, they will differ.
A study done by Dr. Andrew Wakefield in 1998 for The Lancet, claimed that the MMR vaccine causes autism. It’s a very big claim for the doctors to make, scaring tens of thousands of parents around the nation and planet. Panic ensued and rates of vaccinations for newborns have gone down since. Specifically the studies the scientist discovered the link between the MMR vaccine and autism. The MMR vaccine protects against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. Since the 1998 study, major studies have been published that refute the claim of said study. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine found that there is no link. Then in 2010, the Center for Disease Control, CDC, came out with another study that supported the claims that the Institute of Medicine said back in 2004. Later, the same, Dr. Andrew Wakefield admitted to falsifying his medical findings so that law companies could profit off of kids diagnosed with autism due to vaccines bringing in lawsuits. His medical license has since been revoked.
However, this has not stopped a train of people jumping on to the idea that vaccines cause autism. One of the leaders of this movement is Jenny McCarthy, an ex-Playboy model. It’s confusing why a ex-Playboy model with no medical or scientific qualifications could lead a cause where all the answers can be derived from science. Although many studies by the CDC, the FDA, and many other third party research companies have proven no link between autism and vaccines, people don’t vaccinate. This causes a problem. When vaccine usage dies down, diseases return.
In the recent wake of anti-vaccine sentiment, the United States is seeing a recurrence of many life-threatening diseases to younger children. Whooping cough, measles, and mumps are all experiencing resurgences and outbreaks across the nation. Vaccines had almost successfully eradicated the diseases. However, the recent laxity of parents on vaccination has allowed these deadly diseases to come back and take lives. Parents may ask why this happened, but often a lack of vaccination is the cause.
When a child is born it is still up to parents whether or not they get vaccinated. Most parents see the vaccines as a helpful tool that modern science has afforded them to protect their children and society as a whole, because not only can the vaccines save the life of the child but they can aid society. With the dispersion and acceptance of vaccines slowly the disease that once plagued the world could be eradicated. But through the denial of vaccines, the disease that they protect against become more and more prominent with more and more children contracting them.