Remember the Black Plague? The massive pandemic that wiped out almost half of Europe at one point? I don’t either, thanks to more sanitary conditions, antibiotics, and vaccines.
Other diseases, like polio and cholera, are on their way out as well, but only if people keep up on their vaccines. Unfortunately, the trend of refusing vaccines to children is growing worldwide, putting millions at risk.
The problem with not vaccinating children doesn’t end with them, however. With more and more unvaccinated children, our collective herd immunity breaks down.
A Group Effort
There seems to be an issue convincing some anti-vaxxers of the danger of refusing treatment to their children. Part of the problem is that there are hardly any cases of some of these diseases left anymore.
Some people, due to immune deficiencies, cannot be vaccinated even if they wanted to. They rely on herd immunity to protect them.
Herd immunity is the concept that a disease cannot reach susceptible hosts because they are being blocked by people who cannot carry the disease.
So even if someone here or there isn’t vaccinated, there is a good chance they won’t contract a serious communicable disease, simply because there are no carriers.
That doesn’t mean if a disease dies out that people should stop getting vaccines, though. There’s always the chance of reintroduction from an outside source.
Children are the most at risk of being unvaccinated simply due to their status in life. Adults in charge of them are trusted to take care of them, and that used to mean following doctor’s orders to vaccinate.
Now a cult of stubborn, misinformed parents are using their children as examples in their misguided attempt at, what? Proving doctors wrong? Exemplifying a natural lifestyle?
Young children make great disease carriers and spreaders. They spend much of their time around other kids in school or out playing and they lack the concept of personal space and hygiene.
What Are Vaccines?
There are parents who truly believe that vaccines are dangerous because of what they contain. But a vaccine’s ingredient list is hardly scarier than what can be read on a Twinkie wrapper, or in ketchup.
There are two major components that scare people in a vaccine: A sample of the disease itself, and some chemical to aid in long storage.
A vaccine introduces a weakened version of a virus into a healthy person. The body creates antibodies to fight the new disease and remembers how to cure itself. Vaccines are just practice exams for the immune system.
Next time the virus appears in the body, it is more effectively fought off since the body already knows how to create the antibodies to kill it.
Since vaccines contain biological material, they can go bad. To help preserve the vaccine, a chemical called thimerosal is added.
When people found out that thimerosal contains mercury, they freaked out. What they didn’t know was that the amount of mercury in a dosage of a vaccine was what they would get from a can of tuna.
Reduce The Risk
While most of the diseases that kill us aren’t communicable, there are some simple ways to lessen the chance of catching a nasty bug.
Wash your sheets and pillowcase once a week. Your bedding collects a lot of gross particulates that fall off of you. They’ll feel more comfortable as well.
Take a multivitamin. Chances are you aren’t getting all of your essential vitamins from food.
Invest in transcription software. Keyboards have more germs than a toilet seat.
Do Us All A Favor
Keep your kids updated on vaccinations. They won’t get autism or spontaneously develop the disease they were treated for.
In an age where information is so easily available, there is a major problem with the spread of disinformation. Like flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers are mistaken in their theories. The difference is that flat-earthers aren’t actively bringing near-extinct diseases back from the brink of annihilation with their unvaccinated children.
For more ways to keep yourself and your family healthy, check out our other health articles.