My name is Tim Boardman and I created this blog to track my progress through medical school. I get questioned every day about my progress. Through this blog, I hope to convey my daily activities to my family, friends and to anyone who is interested about medical school. Please follow and enjoy and realize that this journey is going to be Far From Boardinary.
Friday, March 2, 2012
There seems to be a controversy regarding the use of vaccines. Believe it or not, there are groups of activists who are firmly against vaccination. They seem to believe that vaccines cause autism, that they cause cancer, that they will anger God, and that there is no need for them. Now, I admit that there have been problems with vaccination and that the system has not always been perfect, but as with any aspect of medicine, it is an evolving science and continues to improve.
Some activists insist that vaccines directly cause autism. This claim has been thoroughly investigated time and time again. Each time this claim is found to be unjustified and false. There is not a scrap of evidence that shows vaccines are even remotely related to autism. The only basis for this accusation is that children who are diagnosed with autism have received vaccines. Think about it, children who are not autistic have also received these same vaccines and are just fine.
Some other argument against vaccination center around the chemicals that are in vaccines. Activists want these chemicals, such as aluminum, removed. These compounds are called adjuvants. The activists' argument is that these adjuvants cause the body harm and are not necessary. Clearly a basic immunology course was not included in activist training.
We can all agree that the sole purpose of a vaccine is to protect us against from getting some disease in the future. Vaccines work by giving us a small dose of either the non-infectious form of the disease causing agent, or the dead form. Our immune system, however, will not waste its time on something that is not harming us. So, how are we supposed to build immunity against something when our bodies won't give it the time a day. The answer is simple, adjuvants. These chemicals irritate our bodies just enough so that they send a 'danger single' to our immune systems and cause them to launch a response against the vaccine. This response is what builds up long-term immunity, called memory, and protects us from the diseases in the future. What happens if we listen to the activists and get rid of these chemicals? Simple, we start injecting ourselves with water because it will be just as effective as an adjuvant-free vaccine.
How quickly we forget diseases such as polio, smallpox, measles, mumps, and rubella. Older generations remember these diseases and remember the pain and suffering that victims felt. Younger generations, however, do not know what these diseases are and probably have never seen anyone with them. I can assure you that these diseases did not disappear on their own. Vaccination is what caused the decrease of these diseases and vaccination is what will continue to protect us.
Unfortunately, as these activists gain strength, the number of parents refusing to vaccinate their children is on the rise. Unfortunately, people are choosing to put their trust in individuals who are uneducated in the sciences. As a result, we are seeing an increase in the number of cases of polio, measles, mumps, and rubella. These activists fail to report that these diseases, if survived, can maim their victims for life. Think carefully when considering vaccination. I strongly suggest you to follow your doctor's recommendation.
Do not let yourself be tainted with a barren skepticism. -Louis Pasteur