By Savannah Baird
Think about the future and think about future families and children you might have, or a friend might have. Now imagine the heartbreak that you or a friend might have to experience one day because of the death of a child. They just had their eighth birthday and made a new friend at school, and then the next day they were sick. There was a new child at school that day, and that child was not vaccinated. Children are now contracting diseases that we once thought were gone. Where does the line get drawn?
People argue that it is safe to not vaccinate their children because of diseases like the measles are gone. However, they are not. These diseases have only been contained by the vaccination of the nation’s children.
I understand to an extent people’s reservations in vaccinating their children, but they should not be allowed to put other people’s children at risk. If a child was HIV positive that child’s parents would tell other parents to make sure everyone’s children are safe, people who do not vaccinate their children should have the same courtesy.
Yes, parents have the right to do what they wish for their children, but if a parent does not want to vaccinate their child they should not be allowed to send them to school with children that could contract their diseases. Most of the children that would get the virus are not ones whose parents chose not to vaccinate them like people might think. Babies at daycares are at risk, and children with drug allergies are at risk because they cannot get vaccinations.
A way to solve this problem would be to make it a law that children must be vaccinated before they can attend a public school. Most states are very lax on their vaccination laws. Each state has the right to do what they wish in regards to vaccinating students, however as a nation we should want our children to be safe and vaccinated.
This would not mean that every single child would have to be vaccinated. If a parent was so against it, they could simply homeschool their child. They would be safe from potential virus’ and other children would also be safe from getting one from a non-vaccinated child. Non-vaccinated children should also have regular check-ups to make sure that they are not contracting anything that is not visible on the surface.
According to USAnews.com, as of Feb. 21, 2019, there have been 63 cases reported of the measles virus in Washington State. Until this new outbreak people had thought this virus to have disappeared, however, it was only contained because parents were vaccinating their children. Then at some point, somewhere, someone decided not to vaccinate their child. They may have heard that vaccines could cause autism, which has been disproven by science. However, think about if it were possible, would you rather have a child be autistic and alive or not be vaccinated and be dead? I would choose to have my child alive no matter what “could” happen.
Now, because someone sent their child to school or the park without vaccinations, someone else’s child got sick, and an outbreak began. From there, visiting children got on planes to come back home, and a young girl in Kentucky now has the measles. What happens if she dies? Is that constituted as murder? Do we throw the mother in jail? Or do we take this mistake and correct it? Of course we correct it.
Think back in history, all the way back to the black plague. People got sick and they got scared. So, not knowing they were already infected they left on boats to go somewhere safe. Most died on the trip, and those who did not die, died soon after arriving to so called “safety”. Thus the plague spread. What do people think is going to happen if we continue to not vaccinate children? Worse diseases than the measles will come back to haunt us eventually. As a parent, it is people’s jobs to keep their children safe, and that should come above the what ifs on any spectrum.