To Vaccinate Or Not To Vaccinate Essay

477 Words2 Pages
What happens when celebrities do not do all their research on an issue, such as vaccines, and still speak to the American public like they hold a doctorate on the matter? What happens when one family does not vaccinate their children and it suddenly has a huge effect on dozens of other families and children? The answer to these two questions is people die. America is facing a problem today that could lead to an epidemic tomorrow; parents are not vaccinating their children. In this country disease such as measles, Haemophilus influenza type b (HIB), mumps, and whooping cough were all but eradicated, then about 10 years ago there was a scare that a preservative put into vaccines causes autism. As cited by Dr. Stephen Novella, in 1998 a British scientist named Andrew Wakefield did a small study on the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. Wakefield used his data to claim that the MMR vaccine caused autism. As a result compliance with the MMR dropped from 92% down to 85%. Measles cases soared from only 58 cases in 1998 to 1,348 cases in 2008 (Novella). Despite the fact that Wakefield’s paper has been discredited and other studies showed that there is a lack of association between MMR or other vaccines, and autism, the controversy sparked by Wakefield spread to the US, and has started an anti-vaccination movement. This movement is being pushed heavily by celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, and John Travolta, all of which are trusted and looked up to by the general public. In 2008 an unvaccinated child went on vacation to Sweden with his parents, who were part also part of the current anti-vaccination movement, when he came back he was infected with measles. That single cases caused 980 people to be exposed, 60 of those people had to be quarantined, 12 of those, all children, were infected, none of them vaccinated. According to
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