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Saturday, May 18
The Indiana Daily Student


Vaccinate the masses

Before I start, I’d like to officially say I don’t particularly enjoy Disneyland. It’s too loud, too hot and with too many kids running into me with their sticky, ?diseased hands.

In fact, my distaste for Disneyland has only grown in recent months as a measles outbreak, originating in Disneyland, has spread to half a dozen states and Mexico.

Measles, for those who are unaware, is a highly contagious viral infection that causes a horrendous rash all over your body.

Now, most of us have received the MMR vaccination, which prevents painful, unnecessary and preventable diseases no one has any interest in contracting.

However in recent years, a movement has sprung up in which parents are refusing to get their children vaccinated because they believe that ?vaccines cause autism.

Besides those parents who are more than likely ultra-liberal vegans, those who don’t vaccinate their children are apparently illiterate or unable to simply Google anything moderately close to fact.

Most anti-vaccination activists, otherwise known as “those parents who are endangering their children,” quote a study published in the Lancet completed by ex-Doctor Andrew Wakefield. I say “ex-Doctor” because Mr. Wakefield had his medical ?license revoked in 2010.

In his study, Wakefield vaccinated 12 children with the MMR vaccine. He claimed that, within days, the children exhibited signs of autism. Wakefield holds that vaccines cause gastroenterological swelling, which impedes brain function, causing autism.

Since its publication, a British medical panel revoked Wakefield’s medical license, stating he has “callous disregard” for the suffering of the children he experimented on, performing lumbar punctures and colonoscopies without prior approval. The panel found Wakefield had patented a measles vaccine that would become financially successful had his research succeeded in knocking the main vaccine off the market.

The Lancet withdrew his study, stating “it was utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements in the paper were utterly false.”

So, why don’t these parents, who “love” their kids so much as to not protect them against completely preventable diseases, know about Wakefield’s public shaming and removal from the medical community?

I truly think it’s a mixture of two things — wanting to be a “cool” parent and being religious. After all, the two main groups who aren’t vaccinating their kids are ultra-liberal vegan parents and ultra-conservative parents who believe vaccines are designed by the government to control children. Parents need to realize they aren’t doing their children any favors. Medical evidence is explicit in its findings that vaccines do not cause autism or other mental ?disorders.

Vaccines have saved our nation from diseases such as polio and smallpox and have the potential to protect us from diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella. However, it requires that all parents participate, work to protect the common good and listen to the president when he says “get your children vaccinated.”

Maybe then, Disneyland won’t be as gross.

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