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The Observer

Vaccinate your damn kids, people

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Vaccinate your damn kids, people

Jack Belcher, News Editor

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I am afraid that no matter what I say, no matter what facts I use, people who don’t believe in vaccines will refuse to listen to logic.

It seems that people who don’t believe in vaccines only want to listen to whatever facts already support their opinions, and are more concerned with proving themselves right than finding the truth.

I could say that there are currently 66 confirmed cases of measles in the state of Washington. I could cite the Washington Post and say that most of these cases are located in Clark County, a place where nearly 8 percent of children had gotten exemptions from vaccines.

I could speak from experience in that I have been vaccinated, and have been given all of my shots, yet I don’t have autism or any other “symptom” of vaccination, other than never having been diagnosed with measles, mumps or rubella.

But still, anti-vaxxers will say that I am an exemption, and that I have been very lucky to not get autism from these vaccinations.

I could say that the idea that vaccines cause autism started when a man named Andrew Wakefield created a study to test if the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine caused autism. His study did find a link between autism and vaccines, but his paper was soon discredited and he lost his medical license.

It was also proven that Wakefield manipulated the results of the study.

I could look back at the history of measles in the U.S. and point out that it was the leading cause of death in children, with over 6,000 reported fatalities each year.

This was until the first vaccine was invented in 1963. After the vaccine was perfected, measles was officially eliminated (there was a continued absense of disease transmission for over 12 months) from the U.S. in the year 2000.

However, due to parents not vaccinating their children, measles has returned to the U.S. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency, and the current number of measles victims is at 66.

People will argue that it is their choice, and that if they want to avoid a shot and risk getting measles than they should have that right. To be completely honest this is a good argument, why should people not be allowed to control what goes into their bodies?

However, I would argue that getting vaccinated is not just about protecting yourself or your own children, but it is about protecting your entire community against a possible outbreak of measles.

The outbreak of 66 cases of measles in Clark County Washington has already cost the state over a million dollars. This is money out of the taxpayers pockets, sent to fight a disease that we have already eliminated.

It is also taking time away from doctors who have other patients that need them. Doctors in the area are being removed from their usual hospitals to fight something that shouldn’t exist in the modern day.

This is where I want to mention the danger of measles, and that if you are unvaccinated and exposed to the virus there is a 90 percent chance that you will become infected.

Once you are infected there is a chance of serious and permanent brain damage, blindness and even death, especially in children under the age of 10, which most of the people infected in Washington are.

I would also like to point out that the vaccine only prevents people from getting the disease, and that once a person is infected it is much harder to treat, thus making it very important that people get vaccinated as early as possible. Being diagnosed with measles is tragic, simply because it is a preventable illness that could affect the rest of a child’s life.

I would also like to ask people who are against vaccinations: “Why?” Why do you believe that a vaccination will cause autism despite the mounting evidence against any link between the two? Do you think it is a conspiracy to “infect” people with autism? Do you think that it is a mistake that doctors are making that is accidentally causing autism? Why do you think people are lying about vaccines?

Students can get a free measles vaccine at the SMaCC on campus.

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