The Vaccine Predicament

Megan Sigismonti, Editor-In-Chief

The conversation regarding vaccination has swept over the entire nation. Everyone has an opinion, dividing the discussion into two basic sides: pro-vaccination and anti-vaccination. No matter where you fall, vaccination trends are changing, and mostly for less immunization.

According to an article by the New York Times, lawmakers in Albany, New York, voted to end religious exemptions for immunizations. Ultimately,overcoming opposition by vaccine skeptics and others who said the measure infringed upon constitutional rights.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has called the issue with vaccines a public health emergency. Likewise, five states have eliminated exemptions for religious and philosophical reasons. Only medical opt-outs will be accepted.

The World Health Organization, or W.H.O., has shed light on the possibility of the United States losing its designation of eliminating measles, due to recent outbreaks in 2019. W.H.O. listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top threats to global health.

The deficit in vaccinations can be traced back to anti-vaccine sentiments that have recently arose. One factor is backlash towards Big Pharma and the corruption regarding pricing and dosages by pharmaceuticals.

An infatuation with celebrities who give special credence to the anti-immunization statements adds to the deficit as well. Celebrities like Jim Carrey, Alcia Silverstone, Jenny McCarthy, Kevin Gates, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., are the main advocates.

Lastly, and most significantly, an internet humming with rumors and misinformation proves to be the biggest catalyst of vaccination hesitancy.

The anti-vaccination argument has made some medical movement: the national vaccination rate for measles, mumps, and rubella has dropped for the third year in a row to 94.3%. However, pro-vaccination people have been making strides to reverse this decrease.

A majority of parents vaccinate their children. Voices for Vaccines is a major advocate that attempts to counter the anti-vaccination sentiment.

The future of vaccination remains unknown. Will government establish a law demanding immunization? Or will the argument only continue to grow and divide? In the words of Dr. Reich, “As we adopted a culture of individualistic parenting, public health becomes a hard sell.”