and medical experts have hailed vaccines as being one of the major achievements
in the 20th century, but not everyone agrees.
the past few years, opposition to vaccinations has been discussed more
frequently in the news. Concerned parents are opting to forgo vaccinations for
their children for many different reasons.
has resulted in a surge of infectious diseases that had been previously or
opposition isn’t a new concept. As long as there have been vaccines, there have
been people who objected to them.
vaccines started back in the early 1800s when the smallpox vaccine started
being used in large numbers. The idea of injecting someone with a part of a
cowpox blister to protect them from smallpox faced a lot of criticism. The
criticism was based on sanitary, religious, and political objections. Some
clergy believed that the vaccine went against their religion.
the 1970s, the DTP vaccine received a wave of opposition when it was linked to
neurological disorders. Studies have found that the risks are very
combat vaccination opposition, laws have been passed that require vaccinations
as a measure of public health.
There are a
variety of reasons behind vaccine opposition. Some people have to forgo
different vaccinations due to a high risk of potential allergic reactions. But for
most who refuse vaccines it should be known that there is little risk.
some common reasons that lead to vaccine opposition. Some
cite religious beliefs as the reason behind their refusal to get vaccinated, though
most mainstream religions do not condemn vaccines.
There was a belief
that diseases were disappearing due to better sanitation and hygiene, not
vaccines. This has been proven false by the resurgence of previously eradicated
It was also
believed that a vaccine wouldn’t protect you. Those who are vaccinated can still get sick, but they will
experience mild symptoms.
think the risks outweigh the benefits. This is currently the biggest objection
in the United States. Parents cite many medical risks, including autism, as
potential consequences of being vaccinated.
There is the
common belief that since these diseases have been eliminated, there’s no need
for vaccinations. Diseases will only stay eradicated as long as vaccines are
still used to prevent them.
think that pharmaceutical companies can’t be trusted. They believe that pharmaceutical companies only want to sell
their products, regardless of the impact on the people who use them.
common reasons that parents oppose vaccinations are medically unfounded. These
belief that vaccines can cause autism has become widespread in the past few
years. Parents seem to be most concerned about the MMR vaccine, which is used
to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella.
studies have shown
that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism. Most of these studies had large
The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) also states that vaccines are very
safe in all but a few cases. The CDC also clarified that vaccine ingredients do
not cause autism.
an ingredient that has been used in some vaccines, also raises concerns. It is
a mercury-based preservative that was thought to cause autism. It is now only
used in some flu vaccines.
are also thimerosal-free flu vaccinations available. Even so, the CDC states
that thimerosal does not cause autism.
don’t get flu vaccines for themselves or for their children. There are several
reasons for this, including:
- The flu vaccine doesn’t protect
against all strains of the flu.
- The vaccination needs to be given
- The vaccination could make them sick,
which is false.
vaccine is recommended for almost everyone who is six months of age or older. There
are both shot and nasal spray vaccinations available, which can be used by
with different allergies can use one type, but not the other. It’s important
that you check what type of flu
vaccine you should get.
effects from the flu vaccine are mild and go away within 1 to 2 days.
Some opposition to vaccines comes
directly from a mistrust of science, or mistrust of the government. Some people
believe that pharmaceutical companies and scientists want to sell a product
regardless of harmful consequences.
Others are skeptical of science that
they don’t understand, or the chemicals they don’t know that go into vaccines.
This distrust grows, as laws require children to be vaccinated in order to
attend public schools.
Some parents prefer “natural” or homeopathic
treatments instead. These treatments can aid in relieving the symptoms of some conditions, but
are not as effective in preventing disease.
When people mistrust science, they’re
less likely to vaccinate. They’re also less likely to trust the doctors who
While some people need to forgo
vaccinations due to potential allergic reactions, others refuse vaccinations
for themselves or their children for many reasons.
Most of the concerns that create
opposition to vaccination are nothing more than misconceptions.
Unfortunately, the decision not to
vaccinate oneself or one’s children doesn’t just affect them. The large number
of people refusing vaccines has led to the reemergence of infectious diseases in
areas where they had been eradicated or nearly gone.
declared eradicated in the United States in 2002. But in 2014, there were over 600 reported cases. Measles is a potentially deadly disease, and health experts explain that
parents refusing to vaccinate their children are the cause behind its
Pertusis, or whooping cough, has also
seen a dramatic increase in reported cases attributed to a lack of vaccinations.
If you have concerns about a vaccination
for you or your child, talk with a doctor that you trust and get their opinion.
In almost all cases, the potential risk of a vaccine is much smaller than the
risk of developing the disease it was created to prevent.