Your best shot at good health

Immunizations currently prevent two to three million deaths per year according to the World Health Organization. If global vaccination coverage improves, an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided. It’s as simple as this: Getting a vaccine can literally save someone’s life.

Illustration by Alissa Green

In 1796, Edward Jenner created the first successful vaccine; it was for smallpox. Jenner took fluid from a cowpox blister and scratched it into the skin of James Phipps, an 8-year-old boy. A blister arose, but soon after, he recovered. Smallpox was a disease that killed millions over centuries so when this vaccine was discovered, it changed the lives of many. In fact, due to vaccinations, smallpox no longer exists.

As time went on, scientists followed Jenner’s model to create vaccines for all kinds of diseases. In the 20th century, certain diseases such as polio, measles and HIV killed thousands and as of 2012, those diseases have decreased by 99 percent due to vaccinations according to ProCon.

Some adults are concerned about what exactly is being injected into them or their child. The ingredients in vaccines vary depending on the disease they are used for. However, the main ingredient in vaccines is actually water. All other ingredients weigh a few milligrams (thousandths of a gram) or even less according to the Vaccine Knowledge Project.

Vaccines are very cost effective. Most insurances cover the cost and even if they don’t, it could still be cheaper than the cost of the potential medical care one would have to undertake. There is also a program called Vaccines for Children which is a program funded by the federal government to provide vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families according to

As everyone knows, every year, flu season comes around. People, especially parents, tend to freak out and worry about them or their children getting it. To help prevent the flu, all one must do is go and get a vaccine. Imagine if no one got a vaccine around flu season. The flu would run rampant, and it would cause many to be out of work and school for a while. It’s those who get a vaccine who keep disease from spreading throughout the population.

On the other hand, vaccines could cause serious implications especially if one is allergic to the ingredients. There was one specific situation where a woman, Chari Fogel, mother of junior Leah Fogel, had a lesion on her neck and went to the neurologist who said they believed it was from a flu vaccine she had received earlier. This is an example of a rare situation where a vaccine causes complications.

Even though some cannot receive a vaccine due to a medical condition, allergy or age, it is vital that those who are eligible to get a vaccine do so. This helps keep the entire community strong and healthy.


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