By Staff Writer Ben Pfeffer.
The World Health Organization has rightfully declared that vaccine hesitancy is among the top 10 threats to global health in 2019, along with air pollution, superbugs, climate change, and the flu.
WHO describes vaccine hesitancy as, “the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines,” and state that it “threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.”
Vaccination is one of the greatest modern medicine miracles known. WHO backs this up by giving the facts that “Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.”
However, vaccine hesitancy, also known as the anti-vaccination movement, is beginning to rewind the progress that vaccinations have made.
WHO gives one example of this. They state, “Measles, for example, has seen a 30% increase in cases globally. The reasons for this rise are complex, and not all of these cases are due to vaccine hesitancy.
However, some countries that were close to eliminating the disease have seen a resurgence.”
Those who choose to not have their children vaccinated have complex reasons, according to WHO. The complex reasons seem to include, “complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence are key reasons underlying hesitancy.”
WHO states that, “health workers, especially those in communities, remain the most trusted advisor and influencer of vaccination decisions,” and therefore, “they must be supported to provide trusted, credible information on vaccines.”
These reasons for not vaccinating your children are just not smart. Just because someone feels questionable about whether or not a vaccine works (Hint: it does) does not mean they should subject their child to a lifetime of worrying about diseases they weren’t vaccinated from as a child, and a much higher chance of death.
WHO makes a claim about their attempt to help fix this issue in 2019. They claim they will “ramp up work to eliminate cervical cancer worldwide by increasing coverage of the HPV vaccine, among other interventions.”
WHO also states that they are attempting to get rid of polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They claim, “2019 may be the year when transmission of the wild poliovirus is stopped in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year, less than 30 cases were reported in both countries. WHO and partners are committed to supporting these countries to vaccinate every last child to eradicate this crippling disease for good.”
Notice how it takes vaccinations to eradicate poliovirus, just thought I’d point that out in case you missed it. So, if there are members of the anti-vaccination movement in those countries, the disease may not be eradicated yet.
The biggest reason for not vaccinating your child is because there are people that believe autism is caused by vaccines. This originates from a study by Andrew Wakefield. However, many members of the anti-vaccination movement seem to just ignore the fact that both of his studies were concluded wrong.
His first study was wrong because it was testing the MMR vaccine and autism develops naturally at around the same age as this vaccination is administered.
The second flaw with this study, according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was that “although the authors claim that autism is a consequence of intestinal inflammation, intestinal symptoms were observed after, not before, symptoms of autism in all eight cases.”
Wakefield’s second study was also disproven. The second study was in 2002 and also tried to link the measles vaccine with autism.
This study was wrong for too many reasons to get into. These were disproven very late however, which allowed the anti-vaccination movement to get off the ground and become the major problem that it is today.