Vaccinations: Should Parents Avoid Vaccinating Their Children?

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Vaccines: Should Parents Avoid Vaccinating Their Children? Kara Willis Ms. Carrie Miller English Composition II 8/15/2012 Why immunize our children? Sometimes messages that we see in the media are very confusing. In one aspect, the media reassures that some diseases are almost gone from the U.S. thanks to vaccines. On the other hand, the media also warns to immunize our children, ourselves as adults, and the elderly. Vaccines were introduced almost three hundred years ago and since that time, the outlook towards them has changed dramatically. Over the years, some have questioned the safety of certain routine childhood vaccines and suggested that these vaccines can cause disorders such as autism. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that immunization is the most important public health act in history, ranking vaccines just after safe drinking water. There are many different opinions on whether parents should avoid vaccinating their children. However, one important conclusion has been made in regard to vaccinations, they save lives. In 1796, Edward Jenner, a country doctor living in England, laid the groundwork for modern vaccinology by performing the world’s first vaccination. The first vaccination consisted of Jenner taking pus from a cowpox lesion and inoculating a young boy with the disease. Jenner then returned after six weeks and variolated two places on the boy’s arm with the smallpox disease. As a result, the boy was not affected by the disease and continued to remain unaffected after subsequent exposures. “Based on twelve such experiments and sixteen additional case histories he had collected since the1770s, Jenner published at his own expense a volume that swiftly became a classic text in the

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