A Battle Over Prevention

     Every year, millions of kids go to the doctor’s office. There, they get their check-ups to determine their health. They also receive small “shots”, most of which inject them with weakened forms of viruses that have devastated populations before we found an effective cure and vaccine. They protect us from diseases such as polio, hepatitis B, influenza, whooping cough, and measles, and have saved hundreds of thousands of American lives in recent years, including 732,000 children over 20 years according to the CDC. So, if they help us out so much, how come there is so much controversy over them? WHO is now saying that vaccine hesitancy is now one of the largest threats to global health. 

     People claim that vaccines can cause countless health issues, including autism, brain damage, and even death. While some people do get hurt or die after getting vaccines, out of the billions of vaccines that have been administered, in 30 years there have only been 6,000 confirmed valid claims of the vaccines causing any harm. Multiple reports that have found connections between autism and vaccines were later redacted over their conclusions or data being incorrect, leading to show the opposite, that there is no connection between the two. Also, vaccines are rigorously and routinely tested to make sure they are safe.

     One of the main problems, at least in my opinion, is that few people remember the diseases that we now have vaccines for. Polio and smallpox, once a common fear for everyone, are now practically eradicated from the US! Sadly, since they are gone, so few people remember just how bad they were. They know the symptoms, the results, the dangers, but since they haven’t actually seen it, they aren’t actually that worried since “It isn’t a problem anymore.” However, let’s take the current pandemic, COVID-19. One of the major goals is to get a vaccine for it and then widely, quite possibly mandatorily, administer it. Another possible problem for anti-vaxxers is that they don’t want to be told what to do by the government. However, COVID-19 is making some anti-vaxxers change their mind on the topic. Because they are seeing just how bad this disease is, they want to protect against it. If we had a new outbreak of, say polio, we would probably see a dramatic increase of polio vaccines, as people, now seeing that is a threat, rush to get vaccinated.

     Really, the main problem with anti-vaxxers is that they don’t know enough about the topic, or have heard false information. We need to educate people on vaccines and the diseases that we are sheltered from so that people don’t make the wrong decision, and lose their life.

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4 thoughts on “A Battle Over Prevention

  1. Nate,
    I really enjoyed reading your editorial. You begin it by framing the problem and helping the reader understand the problem as you see it, and you cite (and link to) relevant and credible information to support your writing. And there’s a clear call to action at the end. This was well done. I know yours was among those submitted to the contest, and I hope the judges read yours closely. Thanks for posting.
    Mr. Jockers

  2. Nate,
    I did like reading your editorial. I appreciate that you wrote about a topic that many people would think is too controversial and hard to write about. You start this by explaining. Explaining how they work. Next with strait facts to help convince people. I appreciate that you go back and show what they did in the past as well as now. To many people, this may be an influential article in their lives. Lastly, I liked how you didn’t make out the Anti-Vaxers to be bad people but just misinformed. It will help many to understand and respond to this article. I hope you do great in the contest.
    Alex Weiss

  3. Dear Nathanael Knorr,
    I really did enjoy reading your editorial. You were able to take a controversial topic and express your feelings and thoughts about this. You start by explaining the problem, and acknowledging the other side. You then refute the opposing side’s argument strongly, and then go on to explain that the main problem is that people have forgotten why they take vaccines for diseases that are deadly, but dead. Then, you smartly take an example that we all can relate to – COVID-19 – and you tie this into your argument. You don’t call ‘anti-vaxxers’ bad people; just misinformed. You provide a fine Call To Action – that we need to educate the public on vaccines. And your 5 hyperlinks made this blog post quite interactive. Overall, a very well written editorial…
    Siddharth Gupta

  4. Dear Nathanael Brett Knorr,
    I enjoyed this piece, it was very well written. You used many captivating facts, and chose a topic very near and dear to our hearts. I will say, that the current pandemic, is not COVID-19, because COVID-19 is not a virus, its the response our bodies have to the current pandemic, which is actually called SARS-CoV-2, but I concede. It is very good that you don’t just call anti vaxxers idiots, you explained that there misinformed, and that we should better educate people.
    Best Regards
    Duncan C. Martin

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