Weigh pros, cons of vaccines this season

(Steve Radford | The Oswegonian)
(Steve Radford | The Oswegonian)

As flu season slowly approaches, some of you may be considering getting those yearly flu shots out of the way. However, recently the demand for such vaccinations has plummeted. Over the past decade, hundreds of different vaccinations have been introduced to the public. Whether they are meant to prevent something as simple as the flu to something as serious as cervical cancer, they have advanced far beyond what anyone could have expected. Modern science and its many recent discoveries have provided the past couple generations with the knowledge and resources needed to reach such medical milestones.

Although there are a plethora of benefits these forms of preventative medical procedures offer, there is still controversy surrounding them. Despite all the hype, we have to ask ourselves, are vaccinations as necessary and helpful to our bodies as the public seems to claim? In the past few years, statistics show that more and more people are choosing to not get vaccinated.

One of the major disadvantages largely centers around young children and infants, making the controversy behind any possible risks that much greater. Arguments against vaccination are much more appealing when the most vulnerable of our population is brought into consideration. Cases of brain inflammation along with cases where the disease meaning to be suppressed actually develops in the patient have both been reported due to live vaccines. These side effects are most common in the first year of an infant’s life, when the child receives a whopping grand total of 26 vaccines. When one considers that many chemicals being put into a human body the size of a one-year-old, 26 shots seems awful extreme. Another common effect claimed to be linked to vaccinations are the diagnosis of diseases such as autism and diabetes. When the public hears of diseases as serious as those being possibly caused by the use of vaccinations, there is obviously a huge amount of dispute on whether or not the risk is actually worth it.

We should consider how true these claims are before making any final conclusions. No factual proof has really been provided to prove that vaccines are the direct cause of things such as autism diagnoses, however. Although there are side-effects to the vaccinations, perhaps we should begin comparing those minor symptoms with the actual disease they are preventing. Though arguments against vaccines seem plausible in their cause, the overall outcome of preventable diseases seems to override the possible danger. While the overwhelming amount of vaccines that are given to us at such a young age may very well be over the line and unnecessary, the main purpose of vaccines and the aid they provide to our society should not be ignored. Vaccines have brought an end to a number of epidemics that plagued the world, including polio, the measles, pertussis, and tuberculosis. Though a few have had harmful side-effects, we should recognize how many lives the vaccines save compared to that number of those they have harmed. The medical advances that are constantly being made everyday may very well improve the low points of the vaccines to eventually make them safer for humans anyway.

Changes could be made about vaccine routines, perhaps decreasing the amount one receives during childhood or in a period of short time; but who are we to say they have absolutely no benefits? Though vaccinations have suffered a great deal of controversy, especially recently, it is wrong to state that they have done nothing good for humankind. Why has the public chosen to emphasize the negative aspects of vaccinations when the reasons we remain immune to such life-threatening diseases are because of them? Vaccines save millions of lives every year. That fact is undeniable.