Let us talk about childhood immunization. Quite a controversial issue nowadays, it’s simply about whether you should get your child immunized. In the words of Shakespeare: “To be or not be. That is the question.” fits this situation perfectly. This dispute has been going on since before I was born; to be exact the first documented idea of vaccination was in the early 17 hundreds. So even now, the battle goes on and people still argue the fact that childhood vaccinations are effective, ethical, moral, and more importantly if it is safe. I mean both sides have their fair share of justifiable evidence to prove their claim, I mean millions of people have been successfully vaccinated and it proved to be effective (a good example would be that it helped eradicate smallpox, which once killed as many as one in seven children in Europe) but on the other hand, all vaccines have side effects and in the case of vaccine overload may overwhelm or weaken the child or adolescent’s immature immune system and lead to adverse effects.
Let’s look at the facts. There are millions of accounts that childhood immunizations are very effective and useful. That includes yours truly. I was given my first shot when I was a baby and I got the picture and the scar to prove it. Well, I turned out okay. But that’s just my case, and there are a lot of instances it wasn’t as beneficial as it was to me. There is evidence that schizophrenia is associated with prenatal exposure to rubella, influenza, and toxoplasmosis infection. There are also some theories thrown out there in the internet- sudden infant death syndrome, epileptic seizures, allergies, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune disease (such as type 1 diabetes), and they even say vaccines can transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy, hepatitis C virus, and HIV. All of which are hypothesis and have been investigated, with the conclusion that vaccines now-a-days meet high safety standards. In a religious perspective, it has been opposed to since it was introduced. Some Christians argued; when vaccines were first becoming widespread, for their belief that if a person is to die of smallpox, it would be a sin to thwart God’s will via the vaccine. Religious opposition towards vaccines continuous up to the present day. There is also the dispute about individual liberty where people state that governments should not infringe on the freedom of an individual to choose medication, even there is a guarantee it will successfully reduce the threat of the disease. They do have that right, and I think this perspective is spot on. A man can choose to take it or not, no other man has the power or rather authority to force him to do so. “To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse than starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body.” -Mahatma Gandhi, I think that says it all. Another argument is financial motives. Some critics have accused the vaccine industry of misrepresenting the safety and effectiveness of their vaccines by covering up or supressing information and even influencing health policy decisions for financial gain.
Too many people discuss the effectiveness of vaccines, yet they do not know how it works. Let me give you a brief overview of what it does. It operates on the premise that once you have had the disease, it is highly unlikely to contract it again. Through injections, oral drops, or scratches, the body is exposed to weakened or dead disease- producing microorganisms or to the toxins they produce. This will eventually cause the individual to develop the same antibodies and antitoxins that would have been developed if the person had actually contracted the disease, in order to fight the disease. Once the body has been exposed to an infection, the immune system will recognize if the disease were to occur, and produce antibodies and