Vaccines

The last few weeks have seen a nationwide outbreak of measles, and now, according to the state health department, there are 22 confirmed cases here in Michigan. The patients range in age from 11 to 63 years old, with the first reported case on March 13. While the patients are being treated in various Wayne County hospitals, the noted exposure spots range between Wayne, Macomb and Oakland.

   This is just one example of what has been a growing number of diseases that was once thought of as gone or nearly gone in most modern countries. Besides this nationwide outbreak, there has also been a mumps outbreak at Temple in Philadelphia, alongside cases of pertussis. Doctors and CDC officials fear that this resurgence of vaccine preventable diseases could lead to more harder to treat ones reemerging.

   These outbreaks mostly disappeared decades ago due to vaccinations, which unfortunately have been under attack due to fake news.

    “Recently, we’ve been seeing an uptick in a whole different variety of infectious diseases, and that includes diseases we previously thought we had beat. Measles is probably the No. 1 example,’’ said Judd Hultquist, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

   This trend of not vaccinating children began after British discredited doctor, Andrew Wakefield had an article published in esteemed medical journal, The Lancet, two decades ago. Wakefield claimed that vaccinations cause autism as well as another false paper saying it also caused inflammatory bowel disease, also which was false.

   The study is still available to read, only now with a giant red ‘Retracted’ stamped on every page. Plenty of counter studies and flat out legal investigations have occurred proving that Wakefield was wrong. The former doctor himself even admitting he published false information.

   Readily available research from credible journals and medical magazines have shown there is no link between vaccinations and autism.

   Wakefield manipulated data from his study, a huge ethics violation that anyone can tell you is wrong. He did his study on just 12 children. Only testing 12 people is not credible for significant research purposes.

   I’ve had research and patient ethics beat into my head since AP psychology and biology in high school to now.

   You do not, ever in your life, manipulate your findings.

   That is unless you want to be discovered and stripped of your degrees and years of hard work as a student and professional. Despite even himself admitting he did it for funding, Wakefield’s study was and is still widely circulated.

   Parents aren’t the only ones to blame for this because in the early years following the report, media outlets also supported Wakefield by citing the study without fact checking it. Bored parents keep pushing Wakefield’s fake study on social media in between making anti-vax posts to share and pull in others into their brand of crazy.

   Your kid isn’t autistic from childhood vaccinations.  Studies have found a strong correlation between prenatal viral infections, including rubella that trigger certain responses in a mother’s immune system. This being a high factor in most autistic children.    

   In fact, what most anti-vaxxers fail to realize is that most newborns are vaccinated within 12 hours after birth. This is a safety precaution for the baby, other newborns in the nursery, as well as general staff.

   If you want to know more about what is in the vaccine, feel free to ask. Companies and doctors should make sure information given is understandable for the average person.

   I work with the public —adults and mostly kids ranging from 5-17. Since I was 15, my job has required me to make sure my shot records where up-to-date. My high school was notorious for checking health records and sending warnings to the parents of kids who did not have updated or complete records.

   If I, alongside every other educator, has to go in for shots seemingly every year, both not to spread or get a long-forgotten disease, your kid should have to if they are going to be using a public service. You should have to follow the rules.

   Some anti-vax parents are now trying to sue public school districts and facilities that are expelling kids of parents who refuse to get them vaccinated.

   Public schools and facilities have the right to protect themselves and customers. If you want to put everyone, including your own child at risk, the public has the right to deny services until they are vaccinated.

   Teenagers and young adults who were never vaccinated due to their parents beliefs are now asking questions on medical forums, and even Reddit, to see what they need. Some, like Ethan Lindenberger, 18 of Ohio, are documenting their journeys on YouTube.

   It’s not just in the U.S either, both Iceland and Italy are banning unvaccinated tourists from entering their countries, as well as suspending unvaccinated children from school.

   Kids shouldn’t miss out on their education just because of their parents issues in believing false information. At the same time, public spaces have the right to bar entry for those who are not vaccinated.