By AVALON SALVADORE
There comes a time in every parent’s life when they have to decide if vaccinating their child is something they want to do before allowing them to go forth into the world. But with the widespread news of anti-vaccine myths, more and more parents believe there is no use for mass vaccination.
Generation Z is the first generation that has lived in a world without a disease outbreak that has greatly affected them personally. Polio was a disease that ravaged America, leaving people crippled, entrapped in iron lungs or even dead. It was not until 1948 when Dr. Hilary Koprowski, virologist who introduced the world’s first live-virus polio vaccine, tested his oral polio vaccine on himself. According to the New York Times, “Dr. Koprowski was the most coveted weapon in the war on polio,” and without this vaccine, polio would have killed millions more than had already fallen victim. Many more diseases, such as chicken pox, measles and tuberculosis, are almost eradicated because of the vaccination process.
There has been a resurgence of the measles virus because parents have decided not to vaccinate their children based on their religious beliefs or their belief that there is no reason to vaccinate their children as these contagious diseases have been wiped out by the vaccination process. According to the website Catholic Culture, the Catholic church encourages parents not to vaccinate their children, comparing it to “police in New York [being] ordered to bar Jewish children from public places,” but, when a community of unvaccinated people is exposed to one form of the virus, an outbreak of the virus could occur quickly. Vaccines protect the majority of the population from widespread diseases; although measles cases are few and far between in this decade, if one person with the measles steps into a room, the contagious virus stays in the room for at least two hours after the infected person leaves, leaving unvaccinated individuals open to attack.
Although some skeptics believe that ingredients in vaccines cause autism, vaccine ingredients are safe to use in the amount given to the recipient. People believe one ingredient is to blame for autism, specifically thimerosal, which has been under scrutiny for decades for being linked to autism. But, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been “nine CDC-funded and conducted studies that have found no link between thermisoral-containing vaccines and autism.” Thimerosal is no longer used in vaccines in America because it uses single dose vaccines; however, thimerosal is still used in developing countries.