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Vaccines Save Lives



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Mandatory immunizations for school children include measles, mumps, and rubella, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis, and haemophilus influenzae type B, an infection that can lead to bacterial meningitis, and are a proven way to keep children healthy.

There were tens of thousands of cases of diphtheria in the 1920s, a bacterial infection affecting heart health that can lead to paralysis, before a vaccine was introduced. Between 2004 and 2017, only two cases were reported.

In 1940, there were 183,866 cases of whooping cough reported; after the introduction of the pertussis vaccine in 1948, numbers dropped. By 1955, there were 62,786 reports of this disease, and just over 15,000 cases by 2019.

Rubella, a cause of birth defects and infant deaths, resulted in 12.5 million cases until a vaccine became available in 1971. In 1981, there were just 2,077 cases reported

Paralysis was the outcome for more than 15,000 people a year, with thousands more disabled, before the polio vaccines were widely distributed in 1955 and 1963. The US has not been challenged by polio since 1979.

The measles vaccine came about in 1963; before that, 3 to 4 million US citizens got measles each year. Complications from this viral infection can lead to pneumonia or encephalitis, particularly for young children. By 1983, only 1,497 cases were reported. But with the rise in vaccine hesitancy, cases are increasing again — including one in Fairfield County this past week.

So recently proposed legislation dropping the nonmedical exemption — including religious exemption (it is the rare US religion that forbids vaccination) — from mandatory school vaccines, beginning with children in grades six and under as of September 1, 2022, is a practical law that would protect all school children.

We live in a world that is ever smaller and in which people — barring a pandemic — are in situations drawing them closer together globally. With the word “pandemic” in our daily lexicon, and most likely one to remain, every reasonable measure offering protection from infectious disease is one to embrace.

Department of Public Health statistics show that the number of kindergartners and seventh graders (statistics for other grades are not shown in current report) in vaccine compliance overall has been over 95% in recent years, which ought to result in herd immunity; but is it not a moral responsibility to do our best to protect the small percentage that cannot, for health reasons, be vaccinated? Is it right to hope that others will comply with mandates so that those unwilling are protected along with those who are unable?

Senate Bill 568 was filed as of April 5 with the Legislative Commissioner’s Office. We presume that concerns of those “against” (families divided with some unvaccinated children grandfathered in and younger members not able to attend public schools) will be addressed before the final vote.

Using any excuse to shirk this responsibility puts others at risk. Vaccinate your kids if they are going to public schools or public places, to protect everyone from preventable illnesses.

There are risks in life; some actions far outweigh any risks, though. Vaccination, with its minimal risk overall, saves lives.

Comments are open. Be civil.
1 comment
  1. yhwy19 says:

    I love commentary on vaccines from people who only drag out the tried and true vaccines of yesteryear and not the numerous vaccines that have not been vetted in the regard that we don’t REALLY know what consequences they have wrought over the long term. Do you have the facts and studies that show that autoimmune disorders are rampant? ADHD, autism, increase in depression, anxiety etc? All I know is that there are not sufficient studies to show that perhaps we have traded one thing for another. I’m not claiming to know if there IS a direct link, but could there be? So while you shame others by claiming they are “shirking” responsibility, maybe they are just critically thinking and waiting for those studies by the pharmaceutical companies to come out. Oh that’s right, there won’t be any, and the ones who have no obligation to you should a health concern, illness or even death occur, is not liable. They only stand to gain financially.
    As for the religious exemption, there are some who believe all lives matter and that a few sacrificed lives that didn’t choose to be killed, are now in a sense, continually mass produced “parts” for your “greater good”. They never had a voice. So excuse some of us that value those souls and choose not to tamper with what God made and not make them a product to inject ourselves for our greater good.
    In a generation of everything now, all actual science has flown out the window. I choose to wait to see what exactly the risks may be down the line.

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