First of all, vaccinations do not cause autism, so let's just dispel that myth right from the get-go. For real though, it shouldn't be a difficult conclusion to make when tasked with vaccinating your children, loved ones, or even yourself.

Most people have a tendency to only believe certain things they hear or read about, and ignore what they don't want to believe. Why is it that when the CDC tells us romaine lettuce is not good for consumption everyone is immediately wary of every leaf of lettuce everywhere, but when the exact same organization proves definitively with scientific evidence that vaccines save lives and prevent deadly pandemics its considered propaganda or lies?

The whole point of a vaccine is that it introduces the body and immune system to a disease or virus in a small enough dose that the virus is not contracted and no harm is done. When confronted with foreign antigens, the body produces antibodies to fight them.

Diseases that once crippled human civilization as a whole, namely infections such as smallpox, polio, and the measles, have been all but eradicated and are no longer an imminent danger because the majority of people are vaccinated for them.

Introduction to these viruses via controlled and lab-orchestrated doses is the safest and most effective way to ensure that you avoid contracting the disease. The vaccines do in fact contain the virus it is aiming to prevent, but the antigens are either killed or weakened to the point of harmlessness before being injected. It is possible to still get sick from these injected antigens, however, the virus is weaker and will not do as much damage.

The human body is an amazing mechanism. After being introduced to certain antigens and creating the proper antibodies to protect us, our bodies "remember" the virus, and if ever confronted with it again, they can fight it with ease.

You may say, "But I got my flu shot and still ended up with the flu, and its because I got the shot", but this is untrue. There are actually three types of influenza, and within each type, there are many more strains. Scientists and medical professionals analyze tons of data from past flu seasons and look for tendencies and patterns to best predict which version of the flu virus will sweep across the globe. If these predictions are wrong, we could be vaccinated for a different influenza strain than the one that we are susceptible to contract.

Now does this mean you shouldn't get your flu shot or any other vaccination for that matter? Absolutely not. It is significantly more beneficial to get the vaccination for whatever ailments could plague you because prevention is always better, easier, and less painful than treatment.

Aside from the personal health dangers that arise among anti-vaxxers, if you are not vaccinated or if your children are not vaccinated, you are putting everyone around you in immediate danger. Children's immune systems are especially fragile, and if your child is not vaccinated he or she is much more likely to be a carrier of a harmful disease that could then be contracted by other children.

Vaccinations are about more than pride or distrust in science and medicine; they are a matter of life and death in some cases. It is unfair to subject others to dangerous diseases that could injure and possibly even kill them. Much like secondhand smoke, they could suffer from decisions that they had nothing to do with when they just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At this point in the course of human development, there is plenty of evidence to prove that vaccinations do no bodily harm and will only benefit the recipient in the future. To all my anti-vaxxers who have made it this far: please reconsider your decision. Not only are you placing yourself at risk for contracting a potentially fatal disease, but you are also endangering those around you that you may inadvertently cause harm to. Please vaccinate yourself and your kids, and the world will be a better, safer, healthier place to live.

And if I haven't changed your mind, I hope I've at least made you consider the health of other people besides just yourself.