5 Reasons Not To Vaccinate Your Child

5 Reasons Not To Vaccinate Your Child

Because natural immunity is so much better.

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There isn't any.

I understand that some parents don't vaccinate their children for various reasons pertaining to their child's safety. "Vaccines cause autism. Vaccines have all sorts of random chemicals in them. If your child is going to be vaccinated why will my child be a risk to yours?"

I've heard it all, and all of these statements have continued to live on by a complete lack of knowledge by the public. Here some common myths surrounding vaccines, and why they hold no actual merit:

1. “Vaccines cause autism.”

This is the most overused excuse not to vaccinate, and frankly, it's the one that makes me the most upset. Not only is it completely false, but it is the most horrible excuse to be used.

Even if this was the case (which it's not), would you actually rather have a child contract a horrible disease and possibly die than have a child with autism? I can't wrap my head around this, I just can't. The fact that so many parents would rather put their child's life at risk because they don't want an autistic child is just ludicrous to me. Even if vaccines DID cause autism (again, they don't), a child alive and healthy with autism is far better than a child with a debilitating disease, or worse, dead.

But vaccines don't cause autism. I can't believe this still has to be argued after various studies have proved this statement wrong. Don't believe me? The American Academy of Pediatrics compiled an entire list of studies proving that vaccines do not cause autism.

And the study that first caused this myth by claiming to find a connection between vaccines and autism? Yeah, the scientists in that study were found to have manipulated data and the entire study was retracted by the scientific journal it was published in.

2. “Vaccines contain all sorts of dangerous chemicals.”

This one has stuck around just because of a complete lack of chemistry knowledge. Vaccines are mostly water along with antigens, although they do contain other chemicals in them to help increase their effectiveness.

Some are worried about mercury in vaccines. Some vaccines used to contain thimerosal which breaks down into ethylmercury, which doesn't accumulate in the body and is different from methylmercury which is a toxin. But thimerosal has been removed from all infant vaccines since 2001.

Formaldehyde seems to be another worrisome topic. Higher rates of formaldehyde are produced by our own metabolic systems than are found in vaccines. The levels found in vaccines are so low that they pose no risk to us.

Another is aluminum. We take in about 30-50mg of aluminum today through food or water. Vaccines typically contain about 0.125-0.625mg per dose (about 1% of what our daily intake is).

Yes, of course these can be toxic to us. But it all depends on how much is put into our body. High amounts of these can be toxic to us, but are not in small doses. It's much like carbon dioxide, it's is always present in our atmosphere but at safe levels. Of course if we breathe in too much carbon dioxide, we could get carbon dioxide poisoning. It's all about how much we ingest.

3. “If your child is vaccinated then why does it matter if mine is or not.”

This one is pretty simple, not everyone is eligible. For example, infants don't get their measles vaccine until around 12 months. Vaccines also work better one some people than others, and vaccine protection can decrease over time, a thing called "waning immunity." Some are also allergic to certain vaccinations, and therefore cannot get them.

In all of these cases, by not vaccinating your child you are putting others at risk who don't have the benefit of being vaccinated against dangerous diseases. "Herd immunity" is what keeps dangerous diseases from plaguing our society. If the large part of society that are able to get vaccines do get them, they protect those that aren't able to get vaccinated. If enough people are immune, the disease will not be able to take hold and spread throughout a community.

4. “All these bad diseases have already been eradicated, so what’s the risk?”

While this was once true, unfortunately, it no longer is. Measles, mumps, whooping cough, and chickenpox are all examples of deadly diseases once thought to be eradicated or almost eradicated that are making a comeback today.

And guess what? All of these can be prevented by, you guessed it, vaccinations.

While some of these diseases may not be a serious threat in our country, yet, travel abroad is increasing drastically. If these diseases are common in these other countries that we travel to someone who is not vaccinated could contract the disease, and then bring it back here and potentially cause an outbreak.

5. “I’d rather my child just get natural immunity to these diseases.”

This is just an unsafe route to take. Sure, sometimes catching the disease will create a stronger immunity than vaccines. But this is all circumstantial and not guaranteed.

A couple examples include measles and chickenpox. If someone contracts measles they have a 1 in 500 chance of dying. With chickenpox, 1 in 1,000 children who contract this disease will develop severe pneumonia or a brain infection. Some also develop group A streptococcus (also known as flesh-eating bacteria).

This is a high-risk approach to diseases. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention compares this to wearing a seatbelt while in the car: "But you don't wear a seatbelt because you expect to be in a serious accident; you wear it because you want to be protected in the unlikely event that you are. If you're never in an accident, the benefit of wearing a seatbelt might be zero. But if you are, the consequences of not wearing it can be very high.It's the same with vaccines. Your child might never need the protection they offer, but you don't want him to be lacking that protection if he ever does need it."

Don't try and come at me with some bullshit excuse next time you tell me you aren't going to vaccinate your child. I've done my research, I know that the pros far outweigh the cons. I'm not going to change my mind on this. I think not vaccinating your child is irresponsible and are doing nothing but causing future issues for your child and others.

Do yourself, your child, and society a favor. Vaccinate your children.

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To All The Nurses In The Making

We tell ourselves that one day it'll all pay off, but will it actually?
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I bet you’re taking a break from studying right now just to read this, aren’t you? Either at the library with friends or in your dorm room. Wherever you may be, you never get the chance to put your books down, at least that’s how it feels to most of us. It sucks feeling like you’ve chosen the hardest major in the world, especially when you see other students barely spending any time studying or doing school work. The exclamation “You’re still here!” is an all too frequent expression from fellow students after recognizing that you’ve spent 10-plus hours in the library. At first it didn’t seem so bad and you told yourself, “This isn’t so difficult, I can handle it,” but fast-forward a few months and you’re questioning if this is really what you want to do with your life.

You can’t keep track of the amount of mental breakdowns you’ve had, how much coffee you’ve consumed, or how many times you’ve called your mom to tell her that you’re dropping out. Nursing is no joke. Half the time it makes you want to go back and change your major, and the other half reminds you why you want to do this, and that is what gets you through it. The thing about being a nursing major is that despite all the difficult exams, labs and overwhelming hours of studying you do, you know that someday you might be the reason someone lives, and you can’t give up on that purpose. We all have our own reasons why we chose nursing -- everyone in your family is a nurse, it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, you’re good at it, or like me, you want to give back to what was given to you. Regardless of what your reasoning is, we all take the same classes, deal with the same professors, and we all have our moments.

I’ve found that groups of students in the same nursing program are like a big family who are unconditionally supportive of each other and offer advice when it’s needed the most. We think that every other college student around us has it so easy, but we know that is not necessarily true. Every major can prove difficult; we’re just a little harder on ourselves. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with your school work and you want to give up, give yourself a minute to imagine where you’ll be in five years -- somewhere in a hospital, taking vitals, and explaining to a patient that everything will be OK. Everything will be worth what we are going through to get to that exact moment.

Remember that the stress and worry about not getting at least a B+ on your anatomy exam is just a small blip of time in our journey; the hours and dedication suck, and it’s those moments that weed us out. Even our advisors tell us that it’s not easy, and they remind us to come up with a back-up plan. Well, I say that if you truly want to be a nurse one day, you must put in your dedication and hard work, study your ass off, stay organized, and you WILL become the nurse you’ve always wanted to be. Don’t let someone discourage you when they relent about how hard nursing is. Take it as motivation to show them that yeah, it is hard, but you know what, I made it through.

With everything you do, give 110 percent and never give up on yourself. If nursing is something that you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, stick with it and remember the lives you will be impacting someday.

SEE ALSO: Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Cover Image Credit: Kaylee O'Neal

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Sorry, Real Life Doesn't Have A "Safe Space" For Your Excuses

Your excuses are invalid. Take responsibility for your actions.

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If I had a penny for every time I heard a college student use a pathetic excuse to get out of something, I would be a millionaire. It seems like every other person I meet these days has zero sense of responsibility in life. They're too sensitive, too unmotivated and just all around lazy. What's up with that?

Something that I don't think a lot of college students realize is that when this is all over, you get thrown out into the real world. You can't email your boss asking for project extensions; they will laugh in your face. You can't use "I have anxiety" as an excuse to get out of doing something. You can't get butthurt every time your boss comes down on your for not doing adequate work. That is life.

Sorry, but real life doesn't have a safe space for you. Your future employer won't baby you and hold your hand every step of the way. You won't be able to call in sick and skip work 3 times a week like you skip class. The real world has expectations and believe it or not, they are WAY more grueling than college.

People will judge you. You will get yelled at by your boss. Hard deadlines will be expected to be met. If you can't deal with it now, good luck to you out there because it only gets harder. I understand that everyone has their own issues in life, but if other people can get past theirs enough to work hard and be successful, your excuse is simply that: an excuse.

Life was never meant to be easy. The whole reason we applied to college was to be challenged and readied for our future careers. I will bet that almost every college student promised themselves they would work harder in college. Giving excuses isn't working harder, it's looking for the easy way out. The easy way might seem better in the short run, but it teaches you nothing and prepares you for nothing. Not to mention, people will get to know you as "that one moron that always has an excuse to not do their work." I don't know about everyone else, but that is the LAST way I would want to be known.

Instead of making an excuse, work harder. Be responsible. Meet deadlines, do your work early, manage your time. It really is simple when you look at it that way. Yeah, life gets stressful. Are you going to be the person who begs for their "safe space" and cries or are you going to get going and do what needs to be done? I know which person I would hire, that's for sure.

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