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An anti-vaccine illustration in 1894. The attitude of people in the picture to the vaccine has become a reality in the United States a hundred years later.

The collapse of trust in vaccines may result in some parents reducing the vaccination of their children, and once this happens, it will pose a more serious risk to their children and other children. Many parents in countries such as the United States have refused to vaccinate their children because of the loss of confidence in the vaccine, which has led to multiple outbreaks of infectious diseases. After questioning, we need more rational thinking.

Distrust of the vaccine may be more horrible than the problem vaccine. In 2016, WHO Representative in China Shi Hede published an article saying that parents lose confidence in the vaccine and reduce the vaccine for their children, which will lead to very serious consequences. Because vaccines are the only way to prevent a range of diseases and deadly diseases.

Shi Hede’s remarks are not without reason. The “anti-vaccine campaign” that occurred in the United States and other countries was caused by their distrust of the vaccine itself and caused some outbreaks of infectious diseases.

US anti-vaccine campaign

The anti-vaccine campaign in the United States began with a controversial paper. In 1998, Andrew J. Wakefield, a physician at the Royal College of Medicine in London (now the University College of London), published an article in the authoritative medical journal The Lancet, saying that measles vaccine may cause susceptible children. On autism. This quickly triggered public distrust of vaccination.

The paper published in The Lancet has been retracted, but the social impact it has not yet dissipated.

In the next decade or so, different researchers used more than a dozen well-conclusive studies to prove that the vaccine does not cause autism. This large-scale public rebuttal of published scientific discoveries is rare in the scientific community. In early 2010, The Lancet withdrew Wakefield’s article because of data fraud in the paper, and he was also accused of falsifying data and losing his medical license.

Although the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism has been completely denied, many people still believe in the relationship between vaccines and autism. The current US President Trump publicly claimed in social media in 2014 that the vaccine can cause healthy children to develop autism.

At the same time, public suspicion of vaccination has increased with the introduction of new speculation theory. For example, some believe that vaccine preservatives can cause certain long-term health problems. Or, more and more vaccines can cause bad immune system reactions and lead to complications…

Some parents are worried that they are beginning to refuse to vaccinate their children. In Texas, for example, in 2003, more than 3,000 Texas students refused to be vaccinated, and now the number has exceeded 56,000. This is still a conservative figure. It only counts the students who go to public schools, and does not include children who are studying at home or going to private schools.

Even if only a small percentage of children are not vaccinated, it may trigger an outbreak of infectious diseases. For example, whooping cough, measles, mumps, these diseases have been raging in the days of our parents and even our grandparents. Now, we believe that these diseases are gradually disappearing, but in fact, in the United States, these three diseases have recovered in the past decade.

In 2017, a measles outbreak occurred in Minnesota. Somali Americans with a higher vaccination rate refused to receive measles, mumps and rubella vaccine because of concerns about autism caused by the vaccine. This caused measles to be vaccinated. The vaccine is spread in the crowd. At least 48 people were infected, almost all children, 11 of whom were hospitalized for pneumonia or other complications.

In 2015, a large-scale measles outbreak broke out from the Disney amusement park in California, with 147 infections in the United States. The measles epidemic even spread to Canada, causing 159 people in the country to be infected. Many of these infected people are unvaccinated children.

Injecting measles vaccine does not cause autism.

Return to rationality to see the vaccine

We live in a crowded world and the disease is very easy to spread. At present, data shows that not vaccinating children will bring greater risks.

American pediatrician Matthew F. Daley and American epidemiologist Jason M. Glanz have conducted a series of studies to quantify the risk of not taking vaccines. Their survey covered tens of thousands of children in the state of Corolla, USA, comparing the risks faced by children who were vaccinated normally and those who refused to vaccinate or delay vaccination. They found that for whooping cough, unvaccinated children were 23 times more likely to be vaccinated; in the case of chickenpox, unvaccinated children were 9 times more likely to be ill.

Infected children may also have complications, and data show that one in every 20 children with measles develops pneumonia. One in a thousand people suffer from encephalitis, leading to convulsions and mental retardation; one in 1,000 infected children will die. Similarly, chickenpox can cause severe skin infections, encephalitis and pneumonia.

Daley et al. believe that the above research also pointed out that many parents often have the idea of ​​“free-riding”. These parents often believe that since most children are vaccinated, my child will not be infected without vaccination. In fact, this not only increases the risk of your child’s illness, but also affects many children who are not suitable for vaccination, such as young or infirm. When they are infected, they often cause complications and even death.

Anti-vaccine parade in the United States.

Even if parents realize that risk is not vaccinated, they still want to know if the vaccine is safe. Because vaccines are available to a large number of people, including healthy babies, their safety standards are much higher than those used by people who are already ill. However, nothing in medicine is 100% safe, and the absolute safety of the vaccine cannot be proved. However, Daley and Glanz believe that in a large number of studies, the vaccine did not have serious side effects, and thus its safety can be inferred.

At present, there is an overwhelming majority of medical evidence that most vaccine side effects in newborns and young children are mild swelling, redness and small lumps at the injection site, and usually the side effects disappear within a few days.

A less common but serious side effect of the vaccine, which occurs in less than one in a million cases, is a rapid allergic reaction, in which case it can generally be treated with a common medication to relieve itching or swelling, or In more severe cases, adrenaline is administered.

There are also very few vaccination problems, for example, after the first injection of the leprosy (measles, parotid-rubella) vaccine, a child has a fever of about one-thousandth of a thousand and causes convulsions. However, this does not cause any permanent nerve damage. “I was very painful when I saw my child’s convulsions.” Paul Offit, a professor of pediatric medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, had a deep understanding of his daughter’s convulsions after a combination vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough. He said it is important to remember that this does not have long-term consequences. And scientific evidence has found that convulsions caused by measles vaccination are much rarer than convulsions caused by measles.

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