Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate

1419 words 6 pages
Exploratory Essay
To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate
Vaccines were brought to the United States by Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse in 1800. (The College of Physicians of Philadelphia) Dr. Waterhouse pushed for public vaccinations to eradicate the small pox epidemic through community immunity. “Community immunity” or “herd immunity” is where a significant percentage of the population is immune to a disease, either through vaccination or prior illness, so the spread of the disease is unlikely. ( National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases). Since 1800, many vaccines have been developed including the polio vaccine by Dr. Salk in 1954. With massive polio vaccinations since 1954, eradication of the disease was declared in 1994 in the
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As mentioned above, the majority of medical doctors agree with the CDC on the risks and benefits of vaccines. Measles was eliminated in the United States in 2000. Several communities in the United States that were not vaccinated, suffered measles outbreaks in 2014 as outlined in a recent article published by the CDC by Dr. Paul Gastanuduy, a pediatric infectious disease doctor. Since measles is highly contagious and still exists in other areas of the world, outbreaks occurred in the United States among unvaccinated persons “288 cases, 280 (97%) were associated with importations from at least 18 countries.” (Paul A. Gastanaduy). Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC also warned in a recent press conference that “Measles anywhere in the world can reach our country, and unvaccinated Americans are at risk,” (Lowes) The side effects of vaccines are minimal in comparison to the diseases they protect us from.
Our government, primarily represented through the CDC, considers the lack of vaccinations risky. As stated above in Lowes, diseases we seldom see in the United States are common elsewhere in the world. The benefit of having up-to-date and complete vaccination regimens


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