February 5, 2019
Measles, a disease thought to be eradicated from the U.S. in 2000, is plaguing the country once again. Upwards of 45 people have been confirmed to have measles in the U.S. since Jan. 1, according to CNN. At least 41 of these cases were not vaccinated against the disease, even though the vaccine is considered to be an extremely easy way to prevent contraction of the disease by medical professionals.
Not vaccinating your children should be illegal. There are some exceptions, of course, such as when a child is allergic to the ingredients of a vaccine or faced with a life-threatening illness would prevent doctors from administering it. Everyone else that does not vaccinate their child, continues to choose to put the safety of their child and others around them at risk.
Parents’ concerns for their child’s health remain valid, but according to a study performed by the Journal of the American Medical Association, no correlation exists between receiving the Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine and developing autism. The argument that a correlation exists proves not only false, but dangerous. A parent who argues that they would rather have their child infected with a dangerous and potentially fatal disease than have autism are ignorant.
The outbreak of measles in the U.S. should remind parents of the dangers that come with not vaccinating their children. According to the Center for Disease Control, a child could develop pneumonia, permanent hearing loss, learning disabilities, dangerous brain swelling known as encephalitis or even die.
When there is a clear link between not vaccinating and outbreaks of a disease considered eradicated, there is also a clear solution. Vaccinating children for measles and other diseases of that nature should be required for all children who qualify. Anything less leaves other children at risk of permanent damage.