Being an individual who has been vaccinated all her life, experiencing the stab of pain piercing through your skin is not too pleasant. Most of us, if not all, probably remember visiting the doctor, getting a shot and crying, and receiving a candy at the end. For me, although the candy part wasn’t too awful, I absolutely dreaded the painful part because the ache would continue for days when the taste of the candy lasted for only a minute. As a result, when I was young, no matter how often my parents told me something like, “We’re getting you vaccinated because we don’t want you to get sick!” I never listened to their comments since all I could remember about shots was the piercing pain I would have to feel.
However, my negative perception towards vaccines became more of a positive insight due to an incident I had with a vaccine-preventable illness a while ago. During October 2015, I was meant to be vaccinated with another influenza vaccine shot. However, because I did not want to have another needle piercing through my skin, I tried my best to waver my parents from getting me the shot- and somehow, it worked. Sort of, to be honest.
Most of you might have heard a quote that loosely goes like, “You are free to make whatever choice you want, but you are not free from the consequences of the choice.” Just like what this quote implies, I wasn’t able to escape from the nasty consequences of influenza. I soon ended up lying sick for more than a week which ended up as hours of catching up with school work. Nevertheless, as if this wasn’t enough, I was sick with influenza again in April. Now that I think about it, the only reason I got the same disease twice before even reaching June was because I couldn’t stand three seconds of pain, which is incredibly ridiculous.
By now, it may seem like vaccines play an even more important role in your life than the A’s and B’s you get in school, and even if you haven’t undergone a mind-blowing, draining and devastating disease, most of you still might be aware that vaccines are important for each individual’s health because you were either taught by someone that way or you just have the belief that they are. Some of you, like I have, even might have received vaccine shots all your life for certain vaccine preventable diseases like the influenza, Hepatitis A and B, Pneumococcal Disease, et cetera (“Top Reasons to”).
However, you’ll be startled to know that not everyone has a vaccination schedule like us.
Although it may seem untrue, there still are certain individuals who are against vaccines. One anonymous epidemiologist claimed that common misconceptions on vaccines include arguments that vaccines cause autism, make people sick, and cost loads of money (“8 Common Arguments”). The most “pronounced” anti-vaxxer of all times is possibly Jenny McCarthy as she has the idea that the constituents in vaccines caused her son’s autism. According to Jenny McCarthy’s interview with CNN, she asserted “the reason why [the medical business is reluctant to talk about autism] is because there is such a huge business in pharmaceuticals” (“McCarthy”). However, numerous studies have concluded that there is no link between autism and vaccines (“Do Vaccines Cause”).
To add, numerous contagious and deadly illnesses such as influenza, Pneumococcal Disease, and Hepatitis A and B- are vaccine-preventable, and virtually everyone is prone to these diseases yet can be easily prevented by vaccines. However, because these vaccine-preventable diseases haven’t gone away, it is essential for individuals to get themselves vaccinated since these are contagious, and not getting yourself vaccinated is the same as putting another at risk as well (“Top Reasons to”).
Reasons to get vaccinated can also be linked to economic and society-related factors. Generally, vaccine-preventable diseases are expensive once people have them and based on statistics, the amount of money required for curing these diseases exceeds over $10 billion dollars, including both direct and indirect costs (“Top Reasons to”).
As you can see, there is simply no reason to not vaccinate yourself and your kids. Just because you are scared of gluten more than chicken pox, as one host puts it, spreading something deadly to someone as well shouldn’t be an option. Vaccines are medical products which cannot be omitted from the great inventions list our history has built up and should always be utilized regularly to prevent diseases. Just don’t kill more than yourself.