Op-Ed: Vaccinations

Addassa Smart, Staff Writer

I feel that vaccines should be mandatory. There have been multiple cases of outbreaks that could have been prevented by vaccines. Vaccines are usually anywhere between 90-99% effective. This year in America, there have been thousands of cases of the mumps. This problem started early last year and has progressed into a worse situation. So recently doctors have been urging people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. There is a vaccine that can prevent contraction of the mumps, and this type of prevention is exactly why vaccines are essential to the population.

       According to Vaccines Work, there have been 4,963 cases of the mumps in America this year. This has become an epidemic. There have been large outbreaks of the mumps all over the country, mainly in Arkansas, Washington, Missouri, and Texas, and people are trying to get themselves and their children vaccinated so they don’t catch the disease. According to the CDC, the mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. The symptoms include fevers, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. This is a very urgent matter since it is such an infectious disease. The people who are mainly affected by the outbreak are teenagers and young adults, as stated by the Huffington Post. USA Today says that the mumps can cause meningitis. The mumps itself may not be very severe but meningitis is. Meningitis is the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. There is also the possibility of encephalitis which can cause permanent disabilities. CNN reports that between January 2016 and June 2017, there have been 150 outbreaks of the mumps across the country and 9,200 people infected in total. A lot of them have taken place at colleges and universities. Upstate, in Syracuse, there have been 13 cases of the mumps reported at Syracuse University. Other than those students, there are more than 10 other students being treated because they could possibly have the disease. At universities, like Syracuse, it can be an issue because even if you have gotten the MMR vaccine, you can still get the mumps if you have close, prolonged contact with an infected person. The CDC says that a person who has gotten the two doses of the vaccine are nine times less likely to get the disease than someone who has not gotten the vaccine at all. However, the two doses are shown to be only 88% effective, so people are being recommended to get a third dose for extra precautions. What people need to understand is that not all vaccines are 100% effective but they do reduce the chances of a person getting the diseases out there. People who don’t get vaccinated are still putting others at risk. Vaccinations don’t mean automatic immunity, so vaccination refusal interferes with the welfare of the people around them.

       These recent outbreaks across the country are just examples of what can happen when people don’t get vaccinated. The result of not getting vaccinated is worse than if you did. All those rumors that are said about vaccines are just that, rumors. There is no proof behind it, just hearsay, so it is better to get the vaccine than to potentially get a fatal illness.