Why Are People Not Vaccinating Their Kids?

Lauren Mitchell, OwlFeed Editor-In-Chief

When vaccinations began to be given, it was said to be one of the greatest health developments of the 20th century, allowing immunity against certain diseases. However, some parents have refused to vaccinate their kids, as they are supposedly unnecessary and can cause health problems.

Photo credit: OnyX Truth

In a book titled, “DTP: A Shot in the Dark” by Harris Coulter and Barbara Loe Fisher, they said there is “evidence that vaccines can cause acute and chronic brain inflammation leading to neurological dysfunction associated with regressive autism.” In the book they list 100 cases of children who developed regressive autism after their DTP vaccination.

In spite of that, this is a misconception that has lingered in parents’ minds for more than a decade, as scientists have said that there is no link between that vaccine and autism.

Parents also are saying that the children’s immune systems can deal with most infections naturally and that natural immunity is more effective. “It is true that natural infection almost always causes better immunity than vaccines,” said Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Whereas immunity from disease often follows a single natural infection, immunity from vaccines occurs only after several doses.”

Multiple celebrities such as Jim Carrey, Cindy Crawford, Bill Maher, Charlie Sheen, and Rob Schneider are “anti-vaxxers.” Surprisingly, in March 2014, Trump tweeted, “If I were President I would push for proper vaccinations but would not allow one time massive shots that a small child cannot take – AUTISM.”

In recent news, Teen Mom 2 star, Kailyn Lowry, said on a podcast that her son Lux has not been vaccinated, which has caused a lot of backlash. Her 9 year old was vaccinated, then when she had her two year old she looked into certain vaccines and chose which ones he should have, and with her 18 month old, she did not vaccinate him at all.

She quickly gained a lot of hateful tweets in which she responded that it was her opinion, “I know what’s best for my kids and other parents know what’s best for theirs.”

The federal government does not require parents to vaccinate their kids, but all states require kids going to public schools to have certain vaccinations for children. Although, most schools offer medical, religious, and sometimes philosophical exemptions. Schools require vaccinations to stop the contagious diseases from spreading so easily between students and so that other people’s children are safe at school from diseases.

Vaccines have been able to eliminate many diseases that killed or disabled people from generations ago. Kids no longer have to get smallpox shots because the disease was eradicated by the smallpox vaccination. In the same way, we can keep vaccinating and eradicate other diseases.

In all, no matter the opinion of the public, the decision of vaccinating their kids is ultimately up to the parents. However, they must keep in mind to do research on the diseases and misconceptions on certain vaccines.