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Unvaccinated Children, Do They Pose a Threat?

Bryce Davis, Staff Writer

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Getting vaccinated as a child has been a social norm for many years. By the time children are 6 years old, they could have received up to 49 doses of 14 different vaccines. The documentary, “Vaxxed,” came out in 2016 and it drew attention to the idea of vaccines possibly causing autism. It was directed by Andrew Wakefield who, in 1998, published a study in the medical journal, The Lancet. The study highlighted the link between vaccines and autism. The medical journal BMJ debunked the study and the documentary, which lead to Wakefield losing his medical license in the UK. However, it still sparked a trend of new parents opting out of vaccinating their child. After a lot of exposure, many people believe Wakefield’s study.

There have been repercussions to this in recent years. In 2000, measles was declared to be eradicated by The Center of Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, there was a multi-state breakout of the disease that was believed to have started in Disneyland. There were 667 confirmed cases of measles in 27 different states.

A study conducted by The California Department of Public Health concluded that unvaccinated people were to blame. The question, “If you’re vaccinated, why are unvaccinated people harmful to you?” is hard to explain. When you are vaccinated as a kid, it does not mean you are completely immune to the disease. It simply means you have more resistance to the disease. As you get older and your immune system gets weaker, your resistance to certain diseases diminishes as well. If somebody who has measles comes in contact with somebody who has been vaccinated against the disease, the vaccinated person can still possibly contract measles. When a disease spreads, it may also mutate into a different form. This renders the vaccine that eradicated the disease in the past useless. It is the same reason why people choose to get a flu shot every year.

Having an unvaccinated child can be difficult on both the parent and the child. In many states an unvaccinated child can’t attend public schools and either has to be homeschooled or have online schooling options. While it is up to the parents to choose whether or not vaccinating their child is a good idea, it is vital that the child remains safe.

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Unvaccinated Children, Do They Pose a Threat?