The Debate Regarding Vaccines and What They Do

Shriya Senguttuvan, Staff Writer

Vaccines are a substance used to stimulate the production of antibodies and provide immunity to several diseases. Parents have been getting their children vaccinated for decades after realizing that it was a way to prevent detrimental illnesses. However, after an inaccurate research paper was published regarding how vaccines could potentially be linked with autism, some parents have been refusing to get their children vaccinated. Vaccines have saved the lives of millions of people around the world. The act of refusing vital vaccinations for children in prevention of a fabricated statement is hazardous.

In 1957, former British surgeon Andrew Jeremy Wakefield and 12 of his colleagues published a study on how common vaccines for diseases such as measles, rubella and mumps had correlations with children developing autism. Since the publishment of this paper, it has come out that much of the evidence and research produced by Wakefield was falsified and derailed from his actual findings. This occurred because Wakefield was funded by lawyers who had represented parents in lawsuits against vaccine-producing companies. For his misconduct, Wakefield lost his medical license and his statements about the issue have been retracted from the medical journals. Since the initial research paper was published and retracted, Wakefield’s claimed results have resurfaced, provoking parents to not get their children vaccinated. The notion that these vaccines cause autism, which numerous parents decide whether to get their children vaccinated or not, is completely unjustified. Simply put, by basing the decision of whether or not to get children vaccinated on a fake statement is like believing the world is flat: incomprehensibly absurd.

Vaccines have been scientifically proven to create immunity against perilous diseases. Before vaccines, diseases such as diphtheria, smallpox and even tetanus caused the deaths of thousands. Medically, young children became susceptible to these highly contagious diseases due to the lack of immunity built up. After vaccines were invented and perfected, the death rate from these illnesses diminished by one hundred percent, according to the World in Data organization. Vaccines have allowed thousands of children to live out their lives, without the worries of enduring or suffering through pain these illnesses bring.

Furthermore, let us just say the case study between the correlations of vaccinations and autism was truly positive, which it is not. Would parents rather have a child who might have autism, which is a spectrum disorder that does not present harm to the child, or to possibly have their child spread and die from a disease that could have been easily prevented? Having a child with autism should not be looked down on as a negative factor when getting children vaccinated. Not getting children vaccinated jeopardizes the child’s health and those around them.

Despite the controversy surrounding the topic, it should not be up for debate on whether or not to get children vaccinated. Any medical treatment can result in an adverse reaction, whether it is antibiotics or a simple over-the-counter drug. However, the relation between autism and vaccines is simply speculation. Although this anti-vaccination idea is a rising movement, all research converges against vaccinations causing autism. Vaccines are a life-saving staple in medicine, and without them, the fight for survival would still be prevalent today.