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Ashley Mathews

Kathryn Blattman, Instructor

Biology 1010/1015

12 January 2018

Vaccines- Hope or Hindrance?

Vaccines, originally invented in 1796 by Edward Jenner in an attempt to defeat smallpox.

Essentially, a vaccine provides a small dosage of a disease so the body can adapt and grow

antibodies to the disease, allowing them to resist the disease in later instances. Vaccines and

flu shots are taken by nearly every American, and generally are required before enrollment in

most American public schools. Roughly 94 percent of schoolchildren (NewsMax Health) have

some sort of vaccine-- generally measles and tetanus shots-- and 39 states also require by law

that their students also get a chickenpox vaccine. With that information in mind, what makes

vaccines so controversial? Well, the largest argument is that vaccines, rather than helping these

children, can actually cause bigger issues, such as autism. Doctor Michael Palmer describes an

experience with his son: ‘​"The similarities from case to case were striking," [.] Often, chronic ear

infections developed soon after immunizations, and soon after that an onset of autistic

symptoms. "Healthy, normal children suddenly developed autism after childhood shots."’

(Palmer qtd. Ko). If vaccines really causes autism, then what is the real reason our vaccines are

government mandate? Marnie Ko, in her article “Safe From What?”, states that one of the

biggest red flags of vaccines in the past has been mercury, and that “[t]he medical community

has voiced concerns over the toxicity of mercury to humans for more than 50 years”. While

autism is very complex and contains many subgroups, mercury is seen as a possible contestor

for brain addlement.

What if, however, that vaccines did not cause autism? Sabin Vance Institute places their

opinion very bluntly:

The science is clear: the mass of evidence shows no link between vaccines and autism.

Vaccines have saved more lives than any other medical advance in recent history.

Vaccine hesitancy and exemptions are a worrisome trend in the United States and are

not something we can afford to encourage or export.

Many researchers and scientists might agree with SVI about the fact of autism being linked with

vaccinations, but this argument is completely ignoring the other downfalls and negatives of

vaccines. Some of these dangers include pain for the individual, and in some young infants

vaccinations​ immediately attack their immune system which can result in awful sickness or even

death. Jenny Bosaller, in her essay “Evidence, not Authority” tells how simply trusting the

doctors to do what’s best for our child might not always be what really is best. In fact, she even

goes on to declare:

As a child, there were COUNTLESS times where I'd gotten the flu shot and I still ended

up getting the flu later. So I don't get your analogy of the seat belt in the car wreck. I

personally think it's more dangerous to inject yourself (and your family) with a vaccine

that contains cancer cells and the threat of an autoimmune disorder when squalene is

used as an adjuvant.

Personally, I can’t help but agree with Bosaller. I understand the perspective that health officials

have on general vaccines, such as those for measles and similar diseases, but I have been

absolutely baffled whenever I hear suggestion of a vaccine for cancer. Cancer is a huge danger

to the human body, and purposefully injecting something so hazardous is terrifying. I also lean

towards the argument that vaccinations cause autism; I don’t ever want to trust something that

could hinder the progress of a child with regular mental development.

Works Cited

NewsMax Health. “94 Percent of US School Kids Get Vaccines.” 28 August 2015. ​Web​. 11

January 2018.

Autism Speaks. “Policy Statement on Mercury and Autism”. ​Web​. 11 January 2018

Sabin Vaccine Institute. “Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism.” 26 January 2017. ​Web​. 11 January


Ko, Marnie. “Safe From What?” ​Web​. 11 January 2018

Bossaller, Jenny S. “Evidence, not Authority”. Spring 2014. ​Web​. 11 January 2018.