By Yesenia Burgara, Staff Writer
Vaccinations have proven over the years to be safe and effective, and everyone should be vaccinated to help protect and save each others lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the percentage decrease for vaccine-preventable diseases compared to pre-vaccine era ranges between 72 percent to 100 percent, Smallpox and Diptheria at 100 percent.
With medical science being so advanced, we are now being protected from more diseases every day. Though, in 2006, 6,787 kindergarteners opted out of vaccinations and last year that number grew to 13,257, according to the California Department of Public Health.
In 2010, more than 21,000 cases of whooping cough were reported in the United States with 26 ending in death of children mostly under the age of six months, according to vaccines.gov.
Parents against vaccinations are not taking into consideration that they might be putting others health at risk when they do not vaccinate their children; it exposes children and adults that can not be vaccinated and not by choice. Some vaccinations can only be taken after a certain age such as the measles vaccination that can only be taken after 12 months of age, which is a highly contagious disease and can live in air for up to two hours. Also, some adults and children cannot take certain vaccinations because they may have severe allergies or have a weak immune system due to illnesses such as cancer.
In the United States the measles was almost as high as 800,000 cases in the 1950’s. In 1962 the Measles vaccine was licensed and by 1970 the number decreased to 100,000, and by 1993 even fewer cases were reported according to CDC. And, from 2001 until 2013 each year the measles cases reported were under 300 cases. But last year, 644 cases were reported, and as of January 30, 102 cases were already reported for this year, most cases are related to the Disneyland outbreak in California where most of those infected didn’t get vaccinated or couldn’t say if they were or not.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, an assistant surgeon general and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases explains in a press briefing, “This is not a problem with the measles vaccine not working, this is a problem of the measles vaccine not being used.”
One in 12 children are not taking their Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine on time making them more vulnerable to get measles. Some of the reasons parents do not chose to give the antibiotics to their children include religious beliefs, philosophies, and personal. Last year 18,200 kindergartners in California were exempt from being vaccinated, mostly because of personal reasons according to the CDC. Everyone is entitled to make their own decisions when it comes to health, but when it affects others that is when it becomes an issue.