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are so effective that, throughout their existence, they have been able to
eradicate certain contagious diseases, and have greatly decreased the rate of
disease and death caused by the illness. One of the first eradicated diseases
is smallpox, a life-threatening, highly contagious infection manifesting as a
rash of round pox or blisters on the face, arms, and legs, caused by the
variola virus. Long-term side effects of smallpox included scars, blindness,
and deformed hands and feet.  The last
case of small pox in the United States was in 1949 and the last case worldwide was
in Somalia in 1977 (“Smallpox”). This eradication has
saved up to five million lives annually and can also prevent encephalitis or
brain damage. Vaccinations continue to decrease the rate of infectious diseases
such as polio, mumps, measles, rubella, whooping cough, and tetanus. These diseases
have greatly declined by 90 to 99% and can be eliminated if the large majority
of a population receive the vaccine (“Benefits”). Vaccinations have brought these
seven potentially life-threatening diseases under some degree of control and
continue to do so with every inoculation, insuring protection from preventable

the discovery of vaccines, some activists have been going to great measures to
prove that vaccines are dangerous and that they potentially cause autism, which
is in fact not the case. In 1988, Dr. Andrew Wakefield published a study in the
Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and best known general medical journals, suggesting
that MMR vaccines cause autism. This document and the results were completely
falsified and deemed “perhaps the most dangerous medical hoax of the last 100
years” by Dennis K Flaherty, an award winning published author whose main
concern focuses on the use and effects of vaccines (Soares). The primary
concern is the link between thimerosal and autism for the reason of its diminutive
traces of mercury. Many years of research and studies show that there are no
relations between the ingredients in vaccine and autism (“Vaccines do not Cause”).
This falsification of documents led to an increase in activism against
vaccination and a decrease in MMR vaccine intake. In fact, Dr. Wakefield has
had his medical license revoked as a result. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine
reported that eight vaccines, including the MMR vaccines, given to children and
adults were found to be, with extremely rare exceptions, safe. Vaccinations
have been proven to be safe and no credible sources have been documented with
unfalsified studies to disprove this fact.

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to being safe and approved by the FDA, vaccines are proven to be extremely
effective. These substances are designed to protect the immune
system from potential and specific attacks. In some cases, an individual’s
immune system will not generate an adequate response, so they will not be
effectively protected (“Why are Childhood”) therefore, it is critical that
vaccine use is wide spread in the general population to protect these
individuals. Ultimately, the effectiveness of vaccines is extremely high and is
extremely beneficial. For example, after the second dose of the measles, mumps
and rubella (MMR) vaccine, this vaccine is 99.7% effective at preventing these
diseases. Contracting any of these specific diseases can lead to devastating
consequences, such as inflammation of the testicles (orchitis), inflammation in
the brain (encephalitis), pneumonia, deafness, or heart defects (“When Parents
Chose”). Another noteworthy example is that of polio, for which the vaccine is
99% effective at preventing the spread of the horrible disease that causes paralysis
and possibly death. These vaccines have even eradicated the illness in most
developed countries. However, there are a number of reasons that this medicine
is not completely 100% successful and have influenced its effectiveness. These
factors include age, prior exposure, time since vaccination, mode of delivery,
and match to circulating strains (McNeil). Not all vaccines are equally
effective. For example, since the influenzas or flu strain mutates every year,
the vaccines are only 80% effective in preventing the flu and potential death.
According to the CDC, the flu kills 36 000 people per year in the US. People
seem to not vaccinate or take the normal yearly vaccines to not contract the
“horrible” side effects that could come of it. Normal side effects of the flu
vaccination are redness, swelling at the injection site, and anaphylaxis which
is extremely rare (Kinman). Vaccines are effective, save countless lives around
the world every year and are, therefore, an indispensable medication.

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