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Over 34,000 Europeans have been affected by the measles outbreak in the first two months of 2019. Cases have been identified in countries like Ukraine, Romania, Albania, and even outside of Europe in Thailand, the Philippines, and the United States. The World Health Organization has stated that while the measles vaccination rate was at an all-time high in 2017, it must be higher in order for complete eradication. With the increase of anti-vaxxers and their complacency and fear of vaccines, the impact on public health will not cease to exist.
Many anti-vaxxers believe that diseases such as measles and smallpox have been eliminated and that there is no need for vaccines anymore; however, the reality is that they haven’t been as prevalent because of vaccines. When vaccination rates are low in a community, it is common for outbreaks to occur, especially with the amount of traveling that people do on a regular basis.
In recent years, many parents have not taken their children to get vaccines due to the fear of developing intellectual disabilities such as autism. This study that initially proposed this belief was disproved later on as many other studies have failed to show a link between the two; in fact, there is a much higher chance for children to develop a disability if they have been affected by a vaccine-preventable disease.
Vaccines are also financially beneficial. The mortality prevented by vaccines has been proven to translate into long-term cost savings because vaccine-preventable diseases can lead to prolonged disabilities and take a toll on someone’s quality of life because of lost time at work or medical bills.
No one should let the fear of vaccines cloud their judgment when it comes to protecting their children. It can be the difference between life and death, so there should be no contemplation or doubt. Without a question, vaccines save lives and future generations.