Vaccinations protect the safety of others

Fever, runny nose, sore throat, bad cough. All these are symptoms of the measles, a disease that has been rapidly spreading throughout the United States.

Babies, children and even adults are at risk when it comes to the measles. And whoever gets it enjoys the effects of recovering for about 20 days, with the hope that no serious complications, like pneumonia or encephalitis, occur. All this can be prevented if they get their vaccines.

According to the Department of Public Health, an initial measles vaccine became available in 1963. Later, in 1968 an improved measles vaccine became available. The first vaccine was not effective, so any adults who were vaccinated before 1968 are not seeing the full benefits of the vaccination. However, anyone vaccinated after 1968 is now safe from the measles.

The measles vaccine is something that anyone can get, and the only risk of getting the vaccine is a possibility of a small allergic reaction.

However, according to the Center for Disease Control ,“The risk of MMR vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella.”

Seeing as how there is little to no risk to getting vaccinated, going to the doctor and being administered the vaccine should be a priority.

“I believe that [getting vaccinated] helps not only immunize people from getting any illnesses that can be life-threatening, and certainly debilitating, as well as not be a danger…to others,” Foreign Language Department Head Eileen Rodriguez-Kiser said. “It helps both them and the rest of the people around them to stay healthy.”

Vaccinations not only help keep people safe, but also prevent other people, who cannot get the vaccine, from catching the disease. For example, babies and special cases, such as people who are going through chemotherapy, or those who are immunodeficient, are not able to get the vaccine. That means that the only way that those people can stay safe is if the people around them are vaccinated.

“It’s one thing if you make a choice for yourself, that only affects you. But the problem with not vaccinating our children is that it affects the rest of society – it spreads disease. And that’s obviously not a good thing,” Rodriguez-Kiser said.

In order to keep everyone safe, everyone who can get the vaccine must, otherwise you run the risk of spreading the vaccine to more and more people.

Just one child that has the measles can spread the disease to hundreds of other people. With a disease that remains airborne for more than two hours, and has a 90 percent infectious rate, it needs to be dealt with seriously. And getting vaccinated is the way to deal with eliminating more serious complications.

“I believe that everyone should be vaccinated,” Rodriguez-Kiser said. “For the safety of everyone else, if not for the safety of their own family.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Parkway School District.