jueves, 11 de marzo de 2021

Are vaccines really harmful?

Columnist Santiago Hoyos Nieto.
Medical student
Universidad Icesi, Cali.

Many people say the pandemic is going to end when we get the COVID–19 vaccine, but if we already had it, would you get it yourself? In recent years, parents' doubts about whether or not they should give their children vaccines have been growing. Whether it's fears generated by misinformation shared by the mass media or by some relatives who have no knowledge about it (Ball, 2020). Many parents do not vaccinate their children because these vaccines are harmful, contain toxic components that cause neurological damage and mental retardation. While there is a lot of evidence of the benefits of vaccination over adverse effects, there is still a lot of controversy and ignorance of the issue (Miller, 2015). With all this information about the safety and benefits of vaccines. Parents should vaccinate their children worry-free and with the security that they protect their children and their families.

Vaccines are harmful to the body as they contain toxic components, such as aluminum and mercury derivatives that cause diseases such as autism, brain damage or intestinal intussusception. Children should naturally gain immunity without the intervention of these toxics. In addition, applying so many vaccines can affect your immune system. Vaccination plans are only business for pharmaceutical industries that do not take into account the dangers to that children are exposed to. The relationship between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and vaccines is no coincidence, the lowest prevalence of ASD occurs in places where the lowest vaccination coverage is found (World Mercury Project Team, 2018). Several studies suggest that aluminum enters the central nervous system in ASD by cells containing it, where the most common route to exposure is through aluminum adjuvants present in vaccines. (Kennedy, 2017). Professor Chris Exley said that "small amounts of aluminum in inactivated vaccines, such as the HPV and whooping cough vaccine, can cause the most severe and disabling form of autism" (Greenfield, 2019). Therefore, the state presents an over-vaccination scheme that generates a lot of money, for any corporate entity without compassion towards what might happen to these helpless children due to exposure to these substances (Kohls, 2017).

Nevertheless, vaccines are one of the most important and momentous inventions that have changed the history of humanity. One of the best strategies that public health can implement in primary prevention is the implementation of good vaccination schemes, which are indispensable to prevent disease in children and adults. Thanks to these, diseases have been eradicated and many people around the world have been prevented from death (DeStefano et al., 2019). According to Yale University, vaccines prevent approximately 17 diseases, many of which many people do not know about as vaccines have left them as a thing of the past. The reduction in morbidity and mortality during the twentieth century due to the implementation of vaccines was quite noticeable. Diseases such as smallpox have been eradicated globally, while others such as poliomyelitis and rubella are rare (Bronfin, 2008). The effectiveness of vaccination schemes, which can be reflected over time, is as evident as cases of infection with these diseases have been drastically decreasing, as is the case of congenital rubella in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), n.d.). With all this information, we can observe, that there are strong scientific arguments that support the safety of vaccines, both in their components, and their use in different doses without presenting any immune overload and less affecting the health of the patient. In addition, it rectifies the efficiency and effectiveness of these as a method of preventing infectious diseases (Miller, 2015).

Likewise, having an immunization plan is of great relevance as this prevents the infection and spread of these diseases. If we stopped vaccination, we would be going back in years of research and work, returning to diseases that were almost eradicated, affecting people's health and well-being by leaving children vulnerable to potentially serious diseases that could be avoided. Some children, who because of certain medical conditions cannot receive vaccines, the only protection against these diseases is the immunity of those around them (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2019). Vaccines are not dangerous, researchers year after year use the best available technology to provide the best protection to patients and verify that there is no risk of toxicity to them (Bronfin, 2008). Vaccines such as the flu vaccine have a preservative called Timerosal, a derivative of ethylmercury. Theories circulating on the Internet associate it with brain damage. Despite extensive studies, there is no data available involving Timerosal in any human disease. Despite the lack of positive findings, this component was removed from all vaccines at the time (Bronfin, 2008). On the other hand, we cannot forget that there is an excellent adverse effects reporting system keeping the immunization plan under control (WHO, n.d.).

To conclude, vaccines are not bad on the contrary they are very beneficial to everyone and should be an applied in children. People with misconceptions believe that vaccines are toxic to children, that it causes them neurodevelopmental disorders and that it suppresses their immune system. Notwithstanding, this is not true, vaccines have many benefits such as generating immunity in children, preventing the spread of highly contagious and severe diseases, eradicating diseases around the world, and also protecting others who by special health conditions cannot make use of vaccines for disease prevention. It's time to stop and think objectively about all the good things we can bring to our children and family members with vaccination. Moreover, having one of the best vaccination schemes in the world with high coverage in infectious diseases (Minsalud, 2016). All of this is summed up in a short and concise phrase "vaccines work and save lives," all children should be vaccinated.

Bibliography consulted

Bronfin D. R. (2008). Childhood immunization controversies: what are parents asking?. The Ochsner journal, 8(3), 151–156.

WHO. (n.d.). Six common misconceptions about immunization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/initiative/detection/immunization_misconceptions/en/index1.html

Ball, P. (2020). Anti-vaccine movement could undermine efforts to end coronavirus pandemic, researchers warn. Nature.

Miller, E. (2015). Controversies and challenges of vaccination: an interview with Elizabeth Miller. BMC medicine, 13(1), 1-5.

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019). Healthy Lifestyle – Infant and toddler health. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/vaccines/art-20048334

DeStefano, F., Bodenstab, H. M., & Offit, P. A. (2019). Principal controversies in vaccine safety in the United States. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 69(4), 726-731.

Meyer, D. (2015). Vaccinations: Why All the Controversy? Retrieved from https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/11628

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (n.d.). What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations? Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/whatifstop.htm

Lantos, J. D., Jackson, M. A., Opel, D. J., Marcuse, E. K., Myers, A. L., & Connelly, B. L. (2010). Controversies in vaccine mandates. Current Problems in Pediatric and Adolescent Health Care, 40(3), 38-58.

World Mercury Project Team. (2018). Official Canadian Data Show That There Is More Autism in Regions Where Vaccine Coverage Is Highest. Retrieved from https://healthimpactnews.com/2018/official-canadian-data-show-that-there-is-more-autism-in-regions-where-vaccine-coverage-is-highest

Kohls, G. G. (2017). Duty to Warn: The Culprits at the CDC and FDA That Helped Create America’s Iatrogenic Over-vaccination Monster. Retrieved from https://healthimpactnews.com/2017/medical-doctor-speaks-out-against-over-vaccination-agenda-of-big-pharma-controlled-cdc-and-fda

Kennedy, R. F. (2017). Study: Record Levels of Aluminum Found in Autistic Children Brain Tissue. Retrieved from https://healthimpactnews.com/2017/study-record-levels-of-aluminum-found-in-autistic-children-brain-tissue

Greenfield, P. (2019). Professor who claims vaccines linked to autism funded through university portal. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jun/01/professor-who-links-vaccines-to-autism-funded-through-university-porta

MinSalud. (2016). Colombia has one of the most comprehensive vaccination schemes PAHO Director. Retrieved from https://www.minsalud.gov.co/English/Paginas/Colombia-has-one-of-the-most-comprehensive-vaccination-schemes-PAHO-Director.aspx

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