Parents Refuse to Vaccinate Their Children


Jake Paz

Getting vaccinated is an important step in stopping the spread of disease.

Jake Paz, Staff Writer

Many parents refuse to vaccinate their children due to claims of harmful side affects such as autism, which have never been scientifically proven. However, due to the resulting Anti-Vaccine movement, an increasing amount of people are choosing not to take the flu shot or the MMR vaccine, which is used to help fight measles. Measles is an extremely contagious respiratory disease that causes rashes, fevers, deafness, pneumonia, brain damage and potentially death. Due to the Anti-Vaccine movement, the chance to contract the disease has increased unnecessarily. Not vaccinating children is a selfish decision because it puts those who are actually unable to get vaccinated at risk.


The reemergence of Measles in California is a startling example of how important it is to be vaccinated; all it takes is one sick person to infect a whole group of people. The outbreak in California ironically originated from the happiest place in the world, Disney Land, after a tourist who had the disease gave it to people who were not protected. Of the 52 cases that originated in Disney Land, most were children who were too young to be vaccinated. It is important for those that can be vaccinated to choose to do so in order to prevent the spread of the disease to people that are too young or weak to get immunized themselves.

Parents that refuse to vaccinate their children claim that vaccines cause autism because of a Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s theory that blames cases of autism on the MMR vaccine. Other parents claim that the government and pharmaceutical companies are working together in order to make money off the sale of vaccines to concerned parents. Another reason some parents refuse the vaccine is because of their religion; a Christian group in Idaho, called the Followers of Christ, refuses any kind of medical attention such as vaccines and doctor visits, and instead turns to prayer alone to cure ailments.

“Choosing not to vaccinate your child is just ignorant and [vaccinations] should be mandatory since the disease will not be prevented if there is a large amount of people who have not been vaccinated,” sophomore Jasmin Valverde said.

Wakefield’s theory has since been discredited; in 2010, it was proven that the MMR vaccine has no relation to autism. The vaccine is very safe and has been shown to prevent 97% of all recipients that take it from contracting measles, making it the most successful vaccine ever made.

By allowing their children to be administered the MMR or flu vaccines, parents are protecting the lives not just of their own children but of others who are unable to receive shots. Once the outbreak in California and the rest of the country is contained, everyone will realize how large of a threat an infection can be to people that are not vaccinated.