The Truth About Anti Vax 

Evalyn Crittell, Staff

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Many parents have decided not to vaccinate their children, but still, are sending them to school putting not only the non-vaccinated kids but the vaccinated ones at risk as well. In the 2017-2018 school year, about 2.2% of kindergarteners attending public school in the United States, 2.15% in Texas, and 9.84% in FISD have immunization exceptions, which is quite a large number when it concerns the safety of this country’s children.

This is a huge issue. Diseases that were almost forgotten about are making a dangerous comeback putting everyone in danger, not just those who aren’t vaccinated. Even measles and rubella are making their way into our lives yet again. Although vaccinations are not 100% protection, if everyone were to do their part, these diseases would not have made a comeback.

Many states allow a number of ways a person can be exempt from vaccines and still attend school. This list includes medical reasons, such as allergies or family history of an issue with the vaccine, religious reasons, and personal or philosophical reasons, which is based on the parent’s belief of vaccines. Some philosophical reasons are that kids getting sick is good because it makes them stronger, or the belief that vaccines contain harmful substances and that vaccines cause autism. Both of those so-called justifications have been debunked, yet some parents still use them as an excuse to not get their children vaccinated. This list makes it very easy for people to not get vaccinated, which increases the spread of diseases.

Students who are not vaccinated shouldn’t be allowed in the classroom, unless they have a medical reason to not get the vaccine. These unvaccinated students, who don’t have a medical reason, should be homeschooled or have a way they can attend school without physically being there. Although keeping nonvaccinated people out of school will not completely eliminate disease, it will slow down infection rates significantly.

Many pro-vaccine parents and students alike fear for their safety because it is very hard to keep these diseases from spreading once they start. To fall victim to one of these diseases is a health hazard, and can lead to long term effects, especially in children.

Getting all kids in public school vaccinated would also save schools time, reduce the spread of diseases and also would improve students’ education. Due to illness or injury, nearly 22 million days of school are lost, which is about $120 billion lost because of student absences. Students also lose the full experience of classrooms so they do not learn as much, or learn things as well as they would if they weren’t missing school so much.

Sickness also spreads through schools like wildfire. Almost every student comes in contact with each other directly or indirectly, meaning the chances of one sick student getting another sick is incredibly high, and then the newly sick student gets other people sick. Next, the teachers and parents get sick, and parents getting sick means whatever is being spread is now in other workplaces and gets spread even further in public places.

This could prove to be one of the deadliest movements of the 21st century, and I believe anti-vax proponents should realize how many people they put in danger when they don’t vaccinate their children. Every parent who does not have medical reasons not to vaccinate their children should be required to vaccinate them, keeping millions of people safe.