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Should children be vaccinated?

Illustration: Carter Klassen · The Sentry

It’s too dangerous

Opinion by LeShaye Hernandez

Vaccinations are a personal choice, especially when it comes to vaccinating one’s own children. It is within a parent’s right to raise and care for their children in the way they decide is best. Many diseases have been eradicated in the country already, so pumping infants and children full of formaldehyde and mercury is unnecessary. 

Polio was eradicated in 1979, so why is it still being offered if there isn’t an agenda to control a family’s choices on their health? Now there is a polio-like illness spreading that the polio vaccine is useless against, and who knows when a new one will be developed or if it will even be effective without serious side effects. All because the population has relied so heavily on vaccinations and forgotten about natural immune system boosters. 

Even with the discrediting of Andrew Wakefield’s published study, a parent’s right to choose needs to be respected when considering the health of a child. That study motivated parents everywhere to pay more attention to what health professionals are pressuring people to put into their bodies and also what the pharmaceutical companies are trying to make money on. 

Vaccine injuries are also a real problem. If some parents are willing to risk injuries with their child, that is within their parenting rights, but the list of side effects is clear on the vaccine package inserts. These effects include high fevers, seizing, serious allergic reactions, and permanent brain damage. Since the beginning of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in 1988, there have been 20,215 filings for injuries or deaths from vaccines. Of that, there were 6,355 that were compensated in amounts totaling over $3.7 billion.

Parents need to know they are allowed to say, “No, I want to do my research before injecting my child with any possible poisons.” And they are allowed to educate themselves so they can make the best decisions. Instead of calling people “anti-vaxxers” maybe it’s time to change the label to “pro-health” or “pro-research.”

It’s beneficial to the community

Opinion by Isaiah Mancha

Vaccines are a necessity, especially when it comes to children. Vaccinations have protected and continue to protect children from fatal diseases that have previously eradicated individuals and communities alike.

For example, diseases like polio, a viral infection causing nerve injury which leads to partial or full paralysis, was a disease thought to be incurable. Since the introduction of the first polio vaccine in 1955, there have been less than 120 polio cases originating in the United States.

When it comes to children, vaccines are only administered to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and health care professionals. Many people argue that children can “catch” diseases from vaccinations, but this is simply a myth. Vaccines contain “killed” viruses, and it is impossible to get the disease from them. Others have “live viruses” but they are weakened and designed to ensure that you cannot catch the disease.  While my opponent argues that vaccines cause severe side effects, events where a child might experience serve allergic reactions is rare and while vaccinations may cause some discomfort, this is minimal to the diseases these vaccinations prevent. 

Even so, a child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities. This can add up financially if a parent has to take time off of work or and pay for medical bills to treat a disease that could have been taken care of from the beginning. 

Not only do vaccines protect people’s children, but other children around them are being protected as well. Some children don’t have a strong immune system, meaning that they will be dangerously affected by the kids who are not vaccinated. For example, kids that have cancer already have a weak immune system due to chemotherapy. If they are near children who are unvaccinated, they are more susceptible to the disease, resulting in those kids contracting dangerous diseases that could lead to death.

Unlike what many believe, vaccinations are far from poison. Vaccinations help communities remain healthy for future generations to come.

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