Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Vaccines are friends, not foes.

Zachary Phillips

In 1998, a study conducted by former surgeon Andrew Wakefield in the medical journal “The Lancet” claims that vaccines have a possible link to the development of autism.

In 2010, 10-year-old Jeremiah Mitchell learns to adapt to the life of a quadruple amputee. Four years earlier, he lost all four limbs after being stricken by meningitis, a vaccine-preventable disease.

Between a possible link to a mental disorder or a complete loss of limbs, the lesser of the two evils seems clear.

To make matters even simpler, Wakefield’s study was proven fraudulent and unethical in 2004 by Brian Deer, a Sunday Times investigator, and has since been widely discredited by medical professionals.

Nevertheless, parents still insist on keeping their children vaccine free.

Although I can understand the paranoia that follows a brief shot scare, prohibiting vaccines altogether seems idiotic.

The vaccine is one of history’s most influential medical advances, effectively preventing several debilitating diseases. Measles, meningitis, mumps — all of these diseases are preventable through inoculation.

In a country where shots are relatively cheap and widely available, refusing to vaccinate is just plain irresponsible. It is a waste of the resources that are readily available for the masses.

It endangers one’s own health and the health of close friends and family.

Furthermore, shots aren’t solely used for personal defense against viruses. In the past, they have been used as weapons to eradicate dangerous diseases, such as smallpox.

As the anti-vaccine trend rises, so do diseases that were once thought to be eradicated in the U.S.

With a long list of pros and a single bogus con, the solution is self-evident. Vaccines are friends, not foes.

Shoot up, America, for the sake of the world.

Zachary Phillips can be reached at [email protected] or @ZachSPhillips on Twitter.

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