There’s a simple solution

The recent measles outbreak has called attention to anti-vaccinators and it’s time to take precaution.

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There’s a simple solution

Audra Gilman, Staff Member

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Imagine your skin breaking out into tingling crimson blotches and flaking off into small pieces when touched, your body throbbing with waves of excruciating pain, your mouth arid and covered in white spots and your fingers ache as you attempt to relieve the torturous itch of your bloodshot, puffy eyes. This is the face of measles.

The only thing standing between children and measles is a preventative vaccine, however some parents refuse to take precautionary measures to save their children. A recent measles outbreak has spread across southwest Washington state and northwest Oregon, leaving unvaccinated children to fend for their lives against the disease and the anti-vaccine movement. Measles is a viral infection that is incredibly dangerous to small children. Measles disguises itself as a common cold for the first nine days until fatigue, a sore throat and a sensitivity to light sets in. Measles has been eliminated in the United States for the past 20 years, but now many families across the nation have decided to join the anti-vaccination movement. No matter how you look at it, the simple fact is that failing to vaccinate children is morally wrong due to how it sets children up for potential health risks. The weak evidence the anti-vaccination movement is built upon and the health hazards it poses to everyone.  

Choosing not to vaccinate a child may seem like it won’t affect them in the moment, but not vaccinating your child can cause them to develop treacherous diseases. If a child is left unvaccinated, then when they are older they may come into contact with an illness that they are not immune to. Those who chose not to vaccinate their children chose to not protect their children and are willing to put their children and the children of others at risk for life altering diseases. The Anti-Vaccine Movement has been around since the late 1800s, but with the rise of technology their preachings have now become widespread and easily accessible. Due to the increase in anti-vax numbers, America’s children have been exposed to life changing diseases, including measles and mumps. Mumps is a viral infection that affects salivary glands and can cause permanent deafness. Anti-vax parents are putting their children’s lives at risk when they do not vaccinate them.

The evidence and logic the anti-vaccine movement use is imbecilic. Anti-vax parents continue to deny conclusive evidence given by medical professionals and are more than willing to bring down the community around them with their asinine logic. The vast majority of anti-vax believers do not understand the science behind vaccines and have only done biased, shallow research on the different vaccines and how they affect children. Shawn Brannan, an administrator at Sea Mar Community Health Center in Vancouver, has been known to comment of the flimsy evidence the anti-vax community are built on.

“It’s the Google monster, unfortunately. Once people Google, they find all these warnings and adverse reactions. And it can sometimes blur what’s really important for the child or even people to get,” said Brannan in an interview with National Public Radio.  

Those who do not vaccinate their children are risking the lives of others. It only takes one infected person to bring down an entire community. The victims of the recent measles outbreak are fighting for their lives because their parents decided to put their lives at risk when they chose not to vaccinate. Many anti-vax parents are now eating their words, as they are bringing their children to hospitals in order to get the measles shot. Dr. Alan MeLnick from Clark County in Washington state has seen the flood of anti-vax parents in hospitals first hand.

“I mean, this is a lousy way to get vaccination rates up. I wish we has vaccination rates us ahead of time. I wish it didn’t take an outbreak and one child already being hospitalized,” said Dr. Melnick.

This measles outbreak could’ve have been avoided by parents simply vaccinating their children. Measles was eradicated in the United States 20 years ago, however due to false truths and flimsy evidence given by anti-vax believers measles has now returned to the nation. Parents must keep an open mind and look at all of the information surrounding vaccinations before making that crucial decision that will not only affect their children, but also their community. The only thing standing between our nation’s health and catastrophic illnesses are vaccines. Chose wisely.

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