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Vaccinations save lives

Downey Regional Medical Center RN Connie Meinke administers the flu vaccine to fellow employee Brian Virk on January 17, 2013. Like many hospitals across the U.S., the Downey, California, facility is preparing for the flu onslaught. The hospital is asking all of their employees to be vaccinated. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
Downey Regional Medical Center RN Connie Meinke administers the flu vaccine to fellow employee Brian Virk on January 17, 2013. Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times/TNS

As the old saying goes, “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.” I think this statement is true when referring to vaccines. People should get vaccinated to prevent others from being sick.

For many years people have often debated whether or not vaccines are safe for themselves or their children. Many will argue that vaccines can cause horrible side effects, even death. However, what are the side effects of not having vaccines?

As a person who personally hates needles, I can understand the discomfort in getting them. But I also understand the importance in receiving them. Too often people will argue that they or their children’s health should not be of any concern to others. But what happens if they get sick?

As we all know viruses spread like wildfires, once one person gets sick there’s a good chance that anyone that comes in contact with said person will get the sickness. The average flu can infect people up to seven days before symptoms can appear.

Think about Elementary and Middle schools for a second, a hot bed for infection with all of the interactions that children have during the day. Let’s say that Joe doesn’t get any vaccines because of possible side effects. But Ben is going to receive vaccines but hasn’t received them yet. In this scenario we’ll say that Joe contracts measles because he never received any vaccines, and without realizing it, he gives this virus to Ben.

Both become very sick, they become so sick in fact, that they are both hospitalized. This whole situation could have been avoided if Joe had gotten his vaccines. Although this is all a hypothetical situation, it’s not too far fetched to say something like this could never happen. For instance the measles outbreak at Disneyland in early 2015.

There’s a reason why we don’t worry about viruses like measles, smallpox, or other similar viruses. Years ago sickness like those would have been considered the walking dead, but thanks to the many vaccines of today, those same viruses are virtually non existent. But if contracted, they’re still incredibly harm full, and some can even lead to death.

While many people who oppose vaccines will claim that they have harmful ingredients in them, those ingredients are only harmful when given in large amounts. The amount of those ingredients found in vaccines is not enough to be harmful.

Over the years vaccines have only gotten safer. The FDA now requires that all vaccines have at least 10 years of testing before being used. The CDC even helps to monitor vaccines to make sure they’re safe.

With all of the viruses and diseases in the world that currently have no vaccines, its amazing how much research goes into finding medicines for them. If there were vaccines to prevent cancers, HIV, and the various other sicknesses in the world, wouldn’t you take it? I would take them, even if I never need them, and I hope others would do that same.

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Vaccinations save lives