WRITTEN BY: MIRA WEATHERWAX
COVER GRAPHIC BY: MARA IOTT
It is that time of the year again. Leaves are changing color, dogs are putting sweaters on, and your great grandma Flo is baking her dry pumpkin bread and your mom is making you eat it.
You think to yourself, “Nothing can ruin these perfect times of family and fall.” But you are wrong. You are wrong because that is where the flu vaccine comes in.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Vaccines cause autism,” I would have a cure for ignorance. These accusations stem from the false facts provided by a British gastroenterologist researcher named Andrew Wakefield.
In 1998, Wakefield and a group of twelve other researchers published a study in The Lancet. The study claimed that there was link between MMR vaccines and the development of trace signs of autism. Wakefield and his colleagues suggested that MMR vaccines be suspended in favor of single-antigen vaccinations given separately over time.
The publication of this article caused an uproar in society. Frightened parents immediately pulled their children from doctor appointments and protested the use of vaccinations. Researchers jumped on the case and worked exhaustively to find the link between MMR and autism.
Twelve long years of research found nothing to prove that MMR and other vaccines could cause children or adults to develop mental disorders. In fact, many well-researched and well-designed studies by the CDC, Oxford University, and more, found that there was no connection.
It was later revealed that Wakefield had rigged the results he was given because it was of personal profit to him.
Lawyers trying to fight the use of vaccines were paying him to build a case. Wakefield also paid children at his son’s birthday party for blood samples.
“The flu shot makes you sick. They literally inject the flu into you.” No. The flu shot does not make you sick with the flu. Yes, they do inject the flu into you. However, it is a more contained and inactivated version of the flu. It is created so your body can develop an immune system to combat the flu if it were to enter your system. According to the CDC, you are better off getting a flu shot than trying to wait the season out. The flu is extremely deadly and the risk of serious health conditions or worse cannot be a risk you are willing to take.
Vaccines are important on so many different levels. I am in fact writing this from a more selfish stand point. I do not want to get infected with the measles or smallpox because people failed to get vaccinated. Cases of measles have appeared in the UK due to lack of vaccinations.
The argument that people back then did not have vaccines is stupid as well. Sure, they lacked access to current medical technology, but do you want to know what happened because of that? They died. A lot of them. Ever heard of the black plague?
I want you to keep in mind, during these holiday seasons, that while you eat your dry pumpkin bread and go door to door asking strangers for candy, you are at risk of getting sick. Go out today and get your flu shot. Get vaccinated. Spread the word of pro-vaccinations for your own sake. Be selfish. Do not let these people release old sicknesses or diseases because they did not believe that vaccines work. They are living proof that they do. Merry Flu Season.