Vaccinate Me!

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Hello World!  I am a 12 year old kid who has never been vaccinated.  I have noticed that there is a dangerous trend starting to happen.  I often meet more and more people my age not vaccinated. This is bad.  This new trend has not only individual risks, but with more unvaccinated people, we risk losing herd immunity in our society.

The thing is, children are not vaccinated solely for the greater good. Children are vaccinated, first and foremost, to protect the child from dangerous diseases like chicken pox, diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B, Hib, HPV, influenza, measles, meningococcal, mumps, pneumococcal, polio, rotavirus, rubella, tetanus, and whooping cough. Each of these diseases can kill. And some of them kill at high rates. All of these diseases can cause lasting harm or substantial suffering. Fortunately modern scientists have devised a way to protect children against these harms: vaccines.

While vaccines are not 100% risk free, not vaccinating carries its own risks. It’s important to remember two points. First, extensive data shows that the risks of not vaccinating far outweigh the risks of vaccinating. Second, unintentional harm from a vaccine is not meant to be an acceptable sacrifice for the greater good: it’s a highly undesirable outcome that the scientific community works hard to avoid, as seen by the multiple mechanisms that have been put in place to minimize or avoid such harms.

While the primary purpose of vaccines is to protect an individual who would otherwise be left at risk, we can’t ignore an additional benefit they provide. If vaccination rates are high enough, the concept of herd immunity offers additional protection to everyone – both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

There are great consequences to not vaccinating. For instance, a measles outbreak in Pennsylvania killed nine unvaccinated children from two church communities that opposed vaccination.

My belief is that vaccinating is vital, and the risks of not vaccinating far outweigh the risk of vaccinating. Stand behind me and convince my parents to vaccinate me.

-Vasyl Shevtsov



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