Should People Vaccinate Their Kids?


Oakley Pastoor Price and Gabby Lund

Since the start of January 2019, cases of the measles outbreak has been confirmed by ten states; California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. In Oregon and Washington, many are suspected to have measle like symptoms, but only 70 people have been diagnosed. Along with people suspecting that they have symptoms, more people are being exposed to the virus due to being in public with possible carriers. In Oregon, a potential reason why it is starting to spread so much is because there are a lot of parents that are against vaccines. Portland specifically is a hotspot for anti-vaxxer parents. Anti-vaxxers are led to believe that vaccines are harmful and cause irreversible changes such as autism and believe that they do more harm than good.


After talking with Sherri Purcell, school nurse for the North Clackamas School District, about vaccines and the reason why people aren’t vaccinating, she said that the concerns that parents have about vaccinations are not valid, “As a nurse with 30+ years of experience, I would have to say no. There is no science to support the theory that vaccines (specifically MMR) causes autism. This thinking originated with a Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a gastroenterologist claimed a study that proved mmr caused autism. He falsified his findings, and has been discredited, and license revoked. BUT, the people who wanted to believe him, have continued to flan the flames of this fake findings.”


Nurse Purcell says that if you don’t vaccinate, “You are at risk of contracting very debilitating diseases, that can lead to death.  Info on just 1 vaccine that saves lives: ‘Between two and five percent of people who develop paralytic polio will die. Half of those who survive will have permanent paralysis. Post-polio syndrome occurs years after an initial bout of polio, with new symptoms of weakness, joint and muscle pain and fatigue.’ And you may soon be in danger of being allowed to go to school in the state of Oregon.  There is a new bill recently drawn up that will do away with the Non-medical exemptions that are currently an alternative that parents can choose to do, vs having their children immunized. This involves the parents going to classes at their doctor’s office for education on why you vaccinate, OR watching online videos that also teach them.”


Many of these parents that aren’t choosing to vaccinate also believe that their kid isn’t going to affect others around them. They think that they’re helping keep their kid healthy but in reality they are only putting others at risk. When speaking about this topic Nurse Purcell said, “ If you come into contact with infants, and other people who may be immune compromised or that can’t be immunized yet, to be protected.  It is called herd immunity. We practice this in this country. The ‘herd’ that can be immunized safely, do so to protect others. For example a two month old, or a transplant patient who is exposed to measles could die if infected with measles. If everyone around them is immunized, they won’t get the disease.”


Vaccinating prevents severe sickness and saves lives. Avoiding vaccines doesn’t just affect you but it hurts those that are not able to get vaccinated. The fear of autism being caused by vaccines is defeated by multiple doctors as well as numerous studies. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t cause autism, choosing not to vaccinate can potentially bring back deadly diseases that have not been around for decades, such as measles, polio, and influenza.