Would You Rather Be Safe or Sorry?
Imagine a woman taking a stroll in a park. She sits down on the grass and breathes in the
fresh scented air. She then picks up a beautiful rose and walks back home. That woman has
already accumulated millions of tiny germs and bacteria that dwell in the most common places of
an average person’s daily life. These tiny particles may somewhat be useful and harmless;
however, a great proportion of them may cause deadly infections and/or diseases. Several of
these infections and diseases may, however, be preventable from the common vaccines that an
individual may have been taking since their childhood. Detailed research in the field of medicine
shows that not only are vaccines crucial for survival and preventing deadly diseases, but they
also provide safe, essential immunization for infants during their early years of life without
tremendous side effects such as autism.
Without the essential vaccines to boost their immunization, people would suffer greatly
and die from various diseases that exist out in the world today such as polio, small pox, and
hepatitis B. Immunization against deadly diseases through vaccines greatly improves an
individual’s chances of survival. Vaccines have prevented a countless number of fatal sicknesses
from harming numerous humans, and in some cases, animals, since the day they were
discovered. One such example can be derived from the Hib vaccine because “after the current
Hib vaccine was introduced, the incidence of Hib meningitis declined to fewer than fifty cases
per year”; hence the number of deaths was infinitely reduced (Offit). In today’s environment,
such a great abundance of harmful bacteria exist that it is not possible for us to live a normal life
without picking up some of these microorganisms. An average healthy human being has a strong
immunization system. Nevertheless, most of the deadly diseases have the ability to infiltrate this
system and reproduce in our bodies. Keeping this in mind, our bodies need extra help to fight off
these illnesses before they cause permanent damage or death to us. Therefore, without vaccines,
the average life expectancy of humans would stand considerably lower than what it is now.
Although vaccine safety is questioned throughout the globe, research proves that while
general vaccines may cause minor side effects like redness tenderness or pain at the site of the
injection, they do not result in permanent damage of the body. Though vaccines may cause
minor discomfort, they accomplish more good than harm. Many people, however, are unwilling
to risk the side effects whilst “the risks are minor when compared to the potential for death and
disability from vaccine-preventable diseases” (Magner). Countless number of experiments have
been performed to prove that the side effects caused by vaccines are in no way permanent, but
may be a little painful for a short while. There is a greater risk in exposing an individual to these
diseases without the vaccines, rather than suffering for a short while and living a longer healthier
Vaccines in a child’s early years provides strong immunization against deadly childhood
diseases that may prevent the infant from living a healthy, disease-free life. Numerous diseases
are more likely to infect an infant than a regular adult. As soon as a baby comes out of his/her
mother, he/she becomes home to a myriad of bacteria and viruses, and “children under two years
old are 500 times more likely to catch Hib meningitis if someone with a Hib infection is living in
the home,” so, children under six months old needs to be vaccinated immediately (Offit). A
newborn baby is suddenly exposed to the dangerous microorganisms in his/her environment.
Without the necessary vaccines, he/she would die or become crippled from viruses and diseases.
A century ago, when the vaccines were still undiscovered, “the numbers of children killed or
injured at the hands of serious diseases were staggering,” and now that there is a way to prevent
that, it should be a necessity for parents to provide their child with the necessary immunization
(Magner). The immune system of a born baby is not as developed as an adult’s immune system;
therefore, the chance of a baby catching a virus is greater than an average person. As stated
earlier, vaccines do not instigate permanent damage to a healthy human being, so that being said,
parents should not hesitate to inoculate their child as early as possible.
Many studies throughout history show that vaccines and autism have no link. Though a
great deal of research has been conducted relating to this hypothesis, most of the data is in
someway incorrect or falsified. Although some research may prove the connection between
vaccines and autism, it is most likely inaccurate because of reasons such as “ [the] children's
medical records show that some clearly had symptoms of developmental problems long before
getting their shots” and the data proved to be inaccurate (Szabo). One such study took place in
England in 1998 by scientist named Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield and his colleagues published
a paper that hypothesized the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine led to the
cause of autism in a child. To prove his theory, Wakefield presented twelve children who were
suffering from developmental problems and had autism. He stated that these children had
developed autism a month after the MMR vaccine, and many side effects from the vaccine
caused damage to parts of the brain. For a period of time, the rate of vaccinations dropped
greatly. However, soon this research proved to be flawed in many ways. Firstly, ninety percent
of the children in England were inoculated with MMR at the same time this paper was presented.
Subsequently, the symptoms were conceived in the children after they were diagnosed with
autism. This research not only proves that vaccines have no link to autism, but they are in every
way safe to the human body.
While providing safe and essential immunization for people of all ages, vaccines help
prevent deadly viruses and diseases from reaching one’s body and causing permanent damage or
death. The invention of vaccines, throughout history, has saved many lives and continues to
provide somewhat of a safe environment for us to live in. Therefore, instead of being neglected,
vaccines need to be accepted by everyone.

Works Cited

Magner, Lois N., Charles R. Mackay, and Stephanie Watson. "Should parents have the right to refuse
standard childhood vaccinations.” Science in Dispute. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 236-245.
Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 4 Apr. 2013.
Offit, Paul A. "Vaccine Risks Are Outweighed by the Risks of Not Vaccinating." Should Vaccinations
be Manditory? Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. At Issue. Rpt. from "Common
Concerns About Vaccines." Vaccines: What You Should Know. 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley
& Sons, Inc., 2003. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 20 Mar. 2013.
Szabo, Liz. "'98 study linking vaccines to autism 'an elaborate fraud'." USA Today 6 Jan. 2011: 09A.
Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.