The increased number of unvaccinated public and private school children in Oklahoma puts herd immunity at risk.
Anti-vaxxers. We know ‘em, we have varying different feelings about them, but they’re in our lives. They’re also wrong. For those who somehow don’t know about the anti-vaccination movement that has swept through America in the past decade or so, it is made up of parents who are not vaccinating their kids because they think it will cause autism.
At least that is where it started. Now its ideology seems to have morphed. Some don’t vaccinate because it technically goes against their own personal dietary restrictions. Others are anti-vaxxers because they don’t want to pay into Big Pharma. Others still are scared that it could cause autism (even though having an autistic child is a non-issue and not credibly linked to vaccines). And some are just uniformed. But all in all, they do it because they think it is what is best for their kids.
They are wrong for multiple reasons. Even if it may go against your own dietary restrictions, it doesn’t necessarily go against the kids’. Or at the very least, it shouldn’t, as they are too young to make an informed decision on what they want to restrict themselves from. I understand wanting to fight against Big Pharma, but your child should still be healthy.
On the issue about whether vaccines cause autism: the short answer is that, no, vaccines do not cause autism. The long answer is, according to the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control, there “is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD.”
To go further, the CDC even looked into the ingredient that scared people the most, thimerosal, a “mercury-based preservative used to prevent contamination of multidose vials of vaccines” and found that “the evidence favors rejection of a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.” Since 2003, there have been nine CDC related studies that have found no link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism. And honestly, even if there was a connection, I would rather have an autistic child than a dead one.
You might be wondering how this relevant to you or me. Well, according to the CDC’s Kindergarten Survey, Oklahoma’s “exemption rate increased by 0.3 percent between the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years.” It may not seem like a lot, but when compared to the fact that we are below the national average in immunizations, “92.6 percent compared to 94.3 percent,” it suddenly becomes a bigger problem.
It’s not just the kids who aren’t immunized that are at risk — it’s everyone else. There are some people who can’t get immunizations due to allergies and who rely on everyone else having their immunizations to not get sick. This is called community immunity, or herd immunity. But when people who could be immunized don’t get their vaccines, it puts those people who can’t at risk. And if they can get sick, they most likely cannot take medication to get better, so they just keep getting sicker.
It even increases the risk of those that have been immunized, as sometimes, even if you get the vaccine, you can get the disease. Most people passively rely on herd immunity, and they don’t even know it until that herd immunity is gone.
So for those of you who have kids or are thinking of having kids, please, get your kids fucking vaccinated.