The Risk of the Anti-Vaccine Movement by Sante

September 25, 2018


The Risk of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

The effectiveness and risks of vaccines are becoming more and more feared by parents with young children, leading to massive health risks for the children and many around them. In an article titled “Vanishing vaccinations: why are so many Americans opting out of vaccinating their children?” , the author links growing rejection of vaccines to the problem that, “Today, however, vaccines are becoming a victim of their success–many individuals have never witnessed the debilitating diseases that vaccines protect against, allowing complacency toward immunization requirements to build.” In the past parents were concerned with the unlikely risks that vaccines provided, because they had seen the terror of having the diseases that became preventable. However, because vaccines became so pervasive in society, people came to forget the diseases and rare cases of vaccines harming children were overexposed. Massive waves of bad information intrude the modern parent’s life, leading to them wrongly seeing a vaccine as a health hazard, and not as a preventative and helpful action.

With this new wave of anti-vaccine parents, medical institutions and the government are pushing to inform parents of the benefits and misconceptions of vaccines in hope that they will choose to protect their children.  One such institution is The Federal Health and Human Services who provides accurate vaccine information in ” Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child”. In the initial part of the article they state, ” Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.” in hopes of reminding people of how much vaccines improve the general well being of the public. Not only does this article discuss the health benefits of vaccinating your child, but also the financial risks that run with not vaccinating your child. By refusing your child a vaccination, you risk them contracting a preventable disease whose treatment could be expensive. This article does a great job of providing concrete ways vaccines protect your children.

The irony of not vaccinating your child is that you are trying to protect the health of your children, but instead you are endangering them to diseases that are null and void with a couple simple shots. This issue is a fairly modern one because overexposed and misinformation has the ability to spread fast through technology. The government is stuck in debate of preserving the freedom of these parents versus protecting the general welfare. This comes not only from risking the health of the child, but also those in society who are more susceptible to catching these diseases such as the elderly, sick, and too young to receive vaccines. Because of this, the government still allows a way for parents to opt out of vaccinating their children, but the route to that is by no means easy. The government hopes that by making the parents jump through hoops that they will consider their choice a little more deeply. Hopefully as more accurate information about vaccination passes around, the anti-vaccine movement will die off.