May 21, 2019 | Updated: 07:37 AM EDT

Anti-Vax: How will that Work?

Mar 13, 2019 10:39 AM EDT

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Anti-vaxxers are people, mostly parents, stating that vaccinations are harmful to children and are simply refusing to believe that children should be vaccinated. Experts say several diseases that are avoidable are making a comeback due to anti-vaxxers. Some vaccinations included in the protest are the flu shot, the mumps, measles and rubella or MMR vaccinations as well as vaccinations for polio and malaria.

Let us explore first, the flu shot. When asked whether or not the flu shot is dangerous to children. The answer is quite simply, no. It could, in fact, save the lives of children, especially those children with chronic illnesses such as asthma or heart disease. Albeit, there are some mild side effects sometimes related to the vaccination such as soreness, redness and/or swelling of the area in which the shot was administered, headaches, mild fever, nausea, muscle aches and at times, the occasional fainting, mostly due to the needle itself and not the actual vaccination. But after 50 years of flu vaccinations being administered to all ages, research and studies have proven that the modern flu shot is very safe. It is actually recommended by experts that everyone, six months old and older, get yearly flu vaccinations. The flu vaccine is our first line of defense against contracting and/or spreading influenza to others. Let us not forget, you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. The flu shot does not carry an active strain of the flu. Only in the nasal spray flu vaccination is a live virus, but the virus has been modified, and will not give you the flu.

Meanwhile, the lack of MMR vaccinations, due to anti-vax parents, has caused a considerable increase in the outbreak of measles in western countries. This virus was thought to have been eliminated prior to the influx of the anti vaccination mind set. IPVs or the inactivated polio vaccines are suffering the same fate. IPVs were to be used as the backbone for eradicating poliovirus within the next decade, but now the vaccination's circulation has been hindered.

The overwhelming success of vaccinations battling these various diseases, can be found throughout the past years. Diseases such as smallpox and rinderpest have been eradicated, and malaria and polio could be soon to follow.

The proper vaccination of children has taken major blows in the public eye in recent years due to celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Oprah Winfrey. They, and others, have used their platforms to speak out against vaccinations, drawing ties between vaccinations and autism in children, and many mothers are following their advice. But the truth is, there is still no conclusive evidence linking the two. 

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