It can Happen Anywhere
Just last week in California, movie-goers may have been exposed to a woman with measles during an Avengers: Endgame showing. This disease has risen at alarming rates recently in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2019, the U.S. had 695 cases of measles in 22 states. These cases are directly linked to lower vaccination rates. People who choose not to vaccinate bring danger to public health and should be educated about the facts of immunization.
California is trying to fix the vaccination problem in thier own state through legislation.
What is a Vaccine?
Vaccines are a biological technique that prepares your immune system to fight a particular disease by first introducing it to a weakened or similar type of disease. In the past, several false science reports and myths have arisen concocted regarding vaccination. Scientists like Andrew Wakefield have published faulty works about the effects vaccines have, and some public figures have backed up these claims. These false reports mislead people about the truth of vaccines and cause confusion. According to Jane Parry of the World Health Organization, “vaccine anxieties continue to periodically impede this highly effective public health measure. In certain industrialized countries, most notably the USA, public concern has shifted its focus from the diseases vaccination can prevent, to the risks of the vaccines themselves. The Internet has become a significant channel for anti-vaccination views.”
Many parents have bought into these lies, and have stopped vaccinating themselves and their children. According to The Washington Post, “The percentage of young American children who did not receive vaccinations has nearly quadrupled since 2001” (Sun). These anti-vaxxers believe the faulty reports, which leads to harmful effects. The unvaccinated people pose a great health danger to themselves and their community. The CDC states that 2019 has “the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000”. If you are unvaccinated, you have a double risk of getting the virus or spreading it to others.
In order to solve this problem, we must first try to analyze the anti-vaxxers’ perspective.
When we know their perspective, they will be more open to education. They do have some warranted fear against vaccines because immunization is not perfect-but nothing can be. There have been mistakes and problems made before, but the benefits of this medical technique overwhelmingly outweigh the risk. Your likelihood of immunity from the certain disease is remarkably raised, and this is supported by science. According to the World Health Organization, “More than 2.5 million deaths a year are prevented in all age groups owing to vaccination against four diseases– diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTP) and measles” (Parry).
To stop the anti-vax movement, it is necessary that we teach them about the importance and safety of vaccines, as well as debunk harmful myths. To do this, we can teach courses in health classes, increase awareness, and make sure to check the validity and credibility of scientific claims and reports on vaccines.
Although we are already receiving quite a bit of awareness at the moment, considering the number of measles cases that the U.S. has had recently. This includes that report last week about the first ever case of measles in Alabama, in an unvaccinated infant. So, everyone that is able to do so must vaccinate to ensure the safety of the general public. Immunization truly is one of science’s greatest advances. Protecting Herd Immunity protects the health of everyone in the “herd”.
How We Can Protect the Herd
While some argue that vaccines cause other diseases, like autism, the sources of these “issues” have already been proven wrong. Andrew Wakefield’s work on the supposed effects of vaccines are unreliable, along with other reports of vaccines causing diseases. There may be a few valid reasons why one could not take vaccines. But for those that can, must.
The main root of the problem of the anti-vax movement comes from miscommunication, false reports, and lack of education. To solve this problem, we must look through their perspective, prove those claims wrong, and educate anti-vaxxers about the facts of vaccines. It’s true that the idea of injecting a dead virus into your blood system may seem daunting. But, you must remember and understand that this medical technique can save your life, along with the lives of those around you. Moral of the story: If you want to stay healthy when watching one of the greatest superhero movies of all time, make sure to educate and vaccinate yourself!