Are Anti-vaccers Anti-fact?
The creation of the vaccine is among one of the most important tools mankind has ever produced. Diseases that once plagued civilizations such as the bubonic plague, polio, smallpox, yellow fever, measles, and even the seasonal influenza, have been brought under control in most parts of the world with access to modern medicine. It has been taken for granted that these diseases are no longer a threat to our everyday health and only through the complete vaccination of the population will this fact continue to be true. While vaccinations are widely undisputed, there is a small portion of people called “anti-vaccers” who are part of the anti-vaccination movement, which speaks for itself. The foundation of this movement’s ideology is founded upon fake, invalidated, science “fact”.
After doing a bit of research, it seems as though anti-vaccers cling to a statistic that the CDC releases every year called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, VAERS for short. The system allows almost anyone -- from a doctor to a nurse to a pharmacist to a patient or parent -- to enter in any information about illnesses or medical issues that follow someone receiving a vaccine. The information is collected so that officials can spot possible trends or side effects related to specific vaccines. The CDC releases a disclaimer alongside the report, saying that “When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.” The CDC is literally saying that there is no scientific proof that any vaccine causes any of the medical conditions reported.
Anti-vaccers choose to disregard what the CDC’s claims to be science fact and continue to spread their beliefs to others who agree with them. They appeal to those who may have lost a child due to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) shortly following vaccinations. Although SIDS is truly devastating, and no parent should have to go through an ordeal like that, there is simply no evidence linking it to vaccinations. The CDC references a few studies done that have been published in scientific journals that support their claim. In fact, there was a study conducted by the National Institute of Health that measles outbreaks occurred among individuals who were intentionally unvaccinated. If anything, remaining unvaccinated leaves you more at risk to other dangerous diseases that have a greater chance of affecting your well-being. The fact of the matter is, without vaccinations, there is no way of knowing how many innocent lives would have been taken by a deadly disease once thought to be unpreventable.
Posted by Ross Cavalieri (Group A - Week 4)