Debunking Anti-Vaxxers and Rebutting Their Claims 7

Gavin Mercado and Grace Baer

Vaccinations are a heated topic that has been building fire in recent times. While many follow the guidelines doctors have recommended for years in order to reduce the spread of deadly diseases, some are skeptical or even outright confrontational regarding the science. The truth is, many of these anti-vaxxers are misinformed and are putting their beliefs before doctors and scientists who have studied diseases and successfully used vaccines for hundreds of years.

Sorry, Sharon, crystals are not going to cure your child’s measles, and no, crystals are not going to cure your child’s flu. Now let’s get to some scientific evidence.

Many anti-vaxxers claim that vaccinations are unsafe because they contain a substance called Mercury or (Hg). A vaccine used to contain 25 micrograms of mercury. This may seem like a lot, however, a normal serving of fish contains 40 micrograms.

The mercury used in vaccines today, thimerosal, is also a much safer version of mercury, and is not dangerous but can cause side effects if consumed often. Additionally, as of 2019, mercury amounts have been reduced. Additionally, thimerosal is only in multidose vaccines, so not all vaccines contain it.

Reportedly influenced by news articles and propaganda from the anti-vaxxers community, many anti-vaxxers rely on outdated or debunked information. A 1998 article written by Andrew Wakefield and 12 of his colleagues and published in The Lancet newspaper where he links vaccinations to autism has influenced many to stop having their children vaccinated. However, the article was later taken down after many elements of his study were proven false.

In addition to being misinformed about the ingredients in vaccines, many anti-vaxxers are often unaware of how a vaccine works. To explain, when the immune system receives a vaccine containing a virus or toxoid, it creates antibodies to fight it. Most importantly, the virus is rendered non-infectious, or non-virulent before being used for a vaccine. For example, the DTaP vaccine contains diphtheria and tetanus toxoids. Subunit vaccines like this one include only parts of the virus or bacteria, or subunits, instead of the entire virus (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

To those who still aren’t clear, a vaccine is an injection that contains a weaker version of a disease. This is, of course, harmless and your body learns how to fight off the disease. For example, if you were to get measles, your body would fight off the disease before you could ever realize you had the disease in the first place. Vaccines are amazing marvels of medicine.

Perhaps the greatest risk of all is that not vaccinating a child doesn’t only put his or her life at risk, but it also puts the lives of everyone that child comes in contact with at risk as well. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), poliomyelitis (polio), measles, mumps, rubella, and others are all recommended vaccines by the Center for Disease Control because they can be deadly, and in many cases, they can spread quickly.

It is estimated that vaccines save 2.5 million lives every year. Just imagine how much that number would go up if everyone (including you and your crystals, Sharon) was vaccinated. Millions of more lives would be saved. Every vaccination counts.

7 comments

  1. HI that info is misleading. Vaccines are bad for you. If you get 1 vaccine per year, imagine how much mercury that’ll be by the time you’re 18. Common sense

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    • If you consume one piece of fish per month, imagine how much mercury you´ll consume in the course of twelve months, fish has about double the amount of mercury a vaccine has. A small dose of mercury isn´t unhealthy, your body can handle it. However max amounts of mercury found in tuna and swordfish are not safe and can have unhealthy side effects. Vaccines are not dangerous or toxic to a healthy body. They have a safe amount of mercury that harmlessly passes through the body.

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      • If you aren’t vaccinated, you get a disease once + then you have a lifetime of immunity. If you are vaccinated, it could cause autism, brain disorders, and may more diesases. This is why you get sick even if you are vaccinated, because your body is having a vaccine reaction.

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      • Andy the cool + nerdy 9th grader who is in 5 clubs at MHS:
        1) Did you have vaccines as a kid? and
        2) Have you ever had a vaccine?
        3) I have all my vaccines and am not autistic.

        Like

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