Why are people choosing not to vaccinate? Why do others want to take away the right to choose? Maybe both can be explained by a lack of information. So let's get informed.
What is the Measles?
The measles is a highly contagious viral infection. It affects the skin, immune system, and the respiratory system. The symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and the well-known rash. Typically the virus runs its course in 7-10 days. Like any other condition the symptoms can last longer if a complication occurs. Problems can occur in individuals that are Vitamin A deficient. These complications can include pneumonia and encephalitis. Now of course these issues are no joke, however, serious complications (such as these) are extremely rare in a developed country. Once the virus has been contracted the individual is immune to it for life.
What is the Vaccine?
The vaccination for the measles virus is titled MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella). By the name you can deduce that it is the vaccination for the Mumps and Rubella, as well. It was introduced in 1963 by Maurice Hilleman. Like other vaccines MMR contains the three live, attenuated or weakened viruses. In order to use live viruses the vaccine must contain human and animal cells. These are necessary for the growth of the viruses. For the rubella virus the vaccine uses 3-month old aborted female lung tissue to grow. While the mumps and measles require chick embryo cells to grow.
It is currently suggested that the vaccine be given in a set of two. The first injection for children is suggested between the ages of 12-15 months. The second dose is suggested between the ages of 4-6 years. It is also suggested that adults over the age of 18 that were born after 1956 get one dose of the MMR vaccine, unless they have had the diseases associated with it.
The big questions on everyone's mind are, "Why not vaccinate?" and "Why not force everyone to get vaccinated?" Now while those questions are related, there are two different answers. Let's go through those one at a time.
Why not vaccinate?
Why are people choosing not to vaccinate? Of course there are religious and personal beliefs that prohibit or sway an individual to abstain from vaccination. However, there are also those that are on the fence due to the potential risks from the vaccine. There are the well-known risks such as allergic reactions to the components of the MMR vaccine. Also, people are advised to inform the doctors if the have any immune disorder or diseases (i.e. HIV/AIDS). There are other risks listed on the CDC's website.
However, there are other ingredients that cause people to avoid vaccination that many don't know about. For example, many vaccinations contain formaldehyde, mercury, and aluminum. These components raise concern in many people because of their effects on the human body. Formaldehyde is considered a highly toxic substance. A review of studies has shown that there seems to be a strong link between childhood asthma and exposure to formaldehyde. Mercury is known as a neurotoxin. It attacks the neurons in the nervous system which can lead to damage of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. As for aluminum, it can have adverse effects on the reproductive system and neurological development.
Another element that is causing individuals to think twice is the human DNA. Human DNA is used in the MMR, Varicella (chicken pox), and 21 other vaccines. There has been speculation that the increase in autism may be connected to the introduction of human DNA via vaccination. There is also the risk of chronic illnesses such as autoimmune disease and allergies because the body wants to attack the foreign DNA which is being injected and fused with the host DNA. This can lead to a long-term inflammatory issue within the body.
Finally, something that many are taking into consideration is the question of vaccination shedding. Vaccination shedding is described as, an individual excreting small amounts of the live virus after being vaccinated. Actually, it is not only right after the injection, rather it can be anywhere from 7-28 days after the vaccination. The excretions can come from nasal and throat discharge. There is also the risk of shedding the virus through breast milk. There have yet to be any documented cases that have been transmitted via vaccination shedding other than the transmission through breast milk.
Should we force vaccination?
Vaccination should remain a choice. Individuals should be able to make a decision regarding what goes into their body and their children's body. However, the decision should be made once an individual is fully informed. They should weigh the pros and cons associated with both sides. Individuals should also be informed that there are other options. There are options such as alternative vaccination schedules. These schedules suggest different ages of the individual when they get the vaccine. There are also various books about the topic that can be explored. If you choose to vaccinate or if you choose not to, make sure to do your research and allow others to do theirs, as well.