Vaccinations are one of the most incredible inventions from modern medicine. They have eradicated lethal diseases that have previously wrecked havoc on humanity.
And yet, despite doctor’s reassurance and evidence that cites the safety and value of vaccination, many educated, dedicated parents are still wary of vaccines.
Although national immunization rate has been stable over the past decade, it’s still below the government’s goal of 80%.
In certain areas, some parents are delaying shots for their kids or skipping ones altogether, citing religious or philosophical exemptions.
As a consequence, there have been recent outbreaks of serious diseases that vaccines had virtually wiped out in the U.S, including measles, mumps, whopping cough and haemophilus influenza type b.
Disease specialists say these cases are due to what’s known as the “herd immunity”. If a community is to be fully protected against a disease, 80 to 90 percent of its population needs to be vaccinated.
Whenever coverage drops below that level, a school, a church or a neighborhood becomes susceptible. Babies who aren’t old enough to get the shot are at the most risk.
The Council of Foreign Relations have released an interactive map showing the horrible outcome of not getting vaccinated, which now published on the Vaccines Work website.
This interactive map gives a gut sinking tour of global outbreaks of measles, mumps, rubella, polio and whooping cough from 2008-2017. These diseases have fatal consequences, yet are easily prevented by vaccines.
According to statistics, 146,000 people around the world will die from measles each year, mostly children.
The US has also seen a dramatic increase in whooping cough, which causes around 195,000 deaths per year.
The majority of these deaths occur in impoverished regions with very little access to vaccines. In the case of developed countries like US or UK, they shouldn’t be occurring at all.
The Big Fear
Why do some parents object to getting their kid vaccinated? The most common answer is: autism.
Many people believe that the increase number of vaccines -children now get twice as many as they did in 1980 and can receive up to 20 injections by their first birthday – are to blame for the rise in kids with autism spectrum disorders.
This idea became well known when Andrew Wakefield, M.D, a British gastroenterologist, published a study of 12 children in the Lancet that linked the measles, mumps and rubella combination vaccine with intestinal problems that he believed led to autism.
The vaccine-autism hypothesis was solidly in the mainstream by the time actress Jenny McCarhy went public with her belief that vaccines cause her son’s autism. This was enough to scare any Mother.
However, at least 7 large studies in major medical journals have found no association between the MMR vaccine and ASD.
Also, the Lancet officially retracted Dr. Wakefield’s original paper (as he has failed to disclose connections to lawyers involved in vaccine litigation).
Furthermore, several demographic analyses have found that autism rates continued to rise after thimerosal was removed from all vaccines, except flu shots.
So, why are there so many reports of children developing autism after getting vaccinated?
Experts believe it’s almost certainly coincidental. Children get their first dose of the MMR vaccine at 12 to 15 months, the age at which autism symptoms become noticeable, says Paul Offit, M.D., director of the vaccine education center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the author of Autism’s False Profits: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure. “It’s the same reason why there are reports of SIDS deaths after DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) immunizations,” says Dr. Offit. “Infants start the DTaP vaccine between 2 and 6 months, which is the time they’re also most likely to die from SIDS.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any risks when it comes to vaccines. However, the risks far outweigh the cons. Doctors say the odds of experiencing a vaccine-related injury are greatly outweighed by the dangers of catching a vaccine-related injury.
For example, the DTaP vaccine causes seizures or temporary shock-like state in 1 in 14,000 people, and acute encephalitis (brain swelling) in 11 in 1 million. But the diseases it prevents – diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis – are fatal in 1 in 20 cases, 1 in 10 cases and 1 in 1,500 cases, respectively.