Why we need vaccination

  Bronchial pneumonia. This illness is a bacterial and inflammatory infection in the infected individual’s lungs. Symptoms subside in three to six days and there is less than a one percent mortality rate.

 Forty-year-old artist, musician, and legendary frontman of rock band Queen Freddie Mercury died because of bronchial pneumonia. One might wonder how such an energetic and young man succumbs to death under such unlikely circumstances. The answer: he also had an immunodeficiency.

 This meant that he had a condition that substantially weakened or completely destroyed his immune system. These can range from genetic conditions to anyone undergoing chemotherapy.

 In Mercury’s case, it was Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, more commonly known as AIDS. These people can not protect themselves from sickness, thus making the common cold fatal in many cases.

 If no one had bronchial pneumonia, Freddie Mercury could have delayed his death. This leads to the importance of vaccination.

 In 1796, smallpox had spread rapidly throughout Europe. British physician, Edward Jenner, then introduced the vaccine.

 The idea was to implant the antibodies from the virus into an individual before they catch it, making them immune.

 This not only saved millions of lives from smallpox, but led to the creation of other vaccines that continue to develop.

 In many school districts, there are vaccines that every student must have before entering a school. This is an example of mandatory vaccination, a topic that is ceaselessly disputed.

 Some argue that it’s a parent’s decision for their child to receive vaccinations, believing it is a violation of human rights. Others argue that vaccination is vital to maintaining the well-being of the population, specifically individuals who can not be vaccinated because of certain circumstances.

 Created to save lives, the science behind each vaccine is complicated and thoroughly monitored.

 Ingredients used in vaccines are safe in the amounts used. The quality of a vaccine is not ignored. Immunizations contain ingredients that can be harmful in large doses, but they are found in amounts so small, that this argument is irrelevant.

 When a vaccination is spread, the virus will have less hosts to use and will eventually die off. This process could have the potential to end an innumerable amount of diseases. To date, several illness have been eradicated from the U.S. including smallpox and polio.

 Travelers put themselves at risk when they go to parts of the world without proper vaccination. “Many vaccine-preventable diseases are still in the United States or ‘only a plane ride away,’” explains the CDC.

 Some individuals cannot be vaccinated because of an immunodeficiency. Examples are those who have cancer, individuals with X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA), alymphocytosis, people with severe burns, diabetes, multiple myeloma, or AIDS. All of these people rely on the public not to spread any viruses to them because they cannot fight them off. The concept is called “Herd Immunity.”

 Communities need to protect the people who can not protect themselves. If mandatory vaccination can save the life of just one individual with an immunodeficiency, then it is well worth it.

 Despite a great deal of scientific and moral evidence that mandatory vaccination has a positive effect on society, some say the opposite.

 One claim is that the ingredients in vaccines are dangerous. There are small amounts of organic mercury among other metals in flu vaccines that can contribute to mental defects.

 However, “Children are exposed to more aluminum in breast milk and infant formula than they are exposed to in vaccines,” as explained by expert Kelly King Heyworth. There is also no evidence to support the idea that vaccines are linked to autism, despite popular claims from those who are anti-vaccine. The ingredients in vaccines are obviously carefully examined before they are put into use.

 Does the one-in-a-million chance of your child having even a mild reaction to an immunization scare you more than your child being responsible for the death of another?

 Mandatory vaccination is vital to maintaining the well-being of all human life. While it is true that certain vaccines are unnecessary or have risks, it remains evident that vaccination has a positive effect on society.

 Global vaccination means global eradication. With each immunization, another step is taken towards a disease free tomorrow.