Western Courier

Vaccinations are the way to go

Jason Adams, Courier Staff

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A recent news story that is going viral on the Internet and social media is about an 18 year old from Ohio who has just gotten his vaccinations. He was never vaccinated as a child due to his parents’ beliefs and after doing research and finding places that vaccinate, he went to the doctor and got himself vaccinated when he turned 18. Luckily for him in his first 18 years of life, he contracted the flu once but none of the other illnesses. Still, he wanted to get vaccinated for himself and for other people around him. After doing his research he felt that the risk of autism and brain damage that his parent’s cited as reasons not to be vaccinated are myths that can’t even begin to outweigh the benefits. This kid may actually be the first teenager to say ‘I know what I’m doing more than my parents’ and be right without a doubt.

The CDC reported in October that the rate of unvaccinated infants has actually gone up in recent years. The excuses to not vaccinate kids range from religion to the autism myth to one of the reasons given by this boy’s parents, “vaccines are some kind of government scheme.” I have yet to see one parent come up with a reason not to vaccinate their children for a real, genuine medical health reason. Most of them are parents who believe they know more than doctors despite only having one MD: WebMD. If all of your medical knowledge is from WebMD, of course you’re going to think vaccines cause cancer. Yet, parents still choose not to vaccinate their kids and for the most part, no real legislation exists to force them. One of the most dangerous protections we have is the the person responsible for a minor’s health decisions is the parent or guardian can decide if a child should get vaccinated; even if their choice goes against the doctor or the minor’s choice. Granted, infants can’t make the decision to be vaccinated, but as they grow up and learn more about vaccines and what they actually do, they may realize that they need them. Unfortunately, if they make this realization and 13 or 14 they still have to wait 4-5 years before they can become safe from measles or polio.

A lot of this started when researchers in the 1990’s conducted an experiment to show that vaccines caused autism. The research was heavily biased and one researcher was even paid to suggest a causal relationship by attorneys who wanted to sue vaccine companies and make a quick buck. Years of research and many, many studies showed that no link existed, in fact the original study had elements put in place to suggest the link. Thankfully there are people in this next generation such as this young man who took it upon himself to do what had to be done. He did his own research and came to his own conclusions separate from the views of his parents. He said that he does have younger siblings who also weren’t vaccinated and he hopes to persuade his parents to get them vaccinated.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Vaccinations are the way to go