Vaccines: Harmful or Helpful? Mar 05, 2015

As a result of the invention of the first vaccine over a century ago, many deadly diseases have been suppressed, or even eradicated. However, recent controversy has raised a concern over possible side effects caused by vaccines, such as autism. Whether you believe vaccines are beneficial or a severely harmful detriment to our health, it is imperative to understand how a vaccine actually works.

A vaccine is essentially a small dose of the disease you are attempting to avoid, in the form of weakened or dead cells. Your body, however, cannot tell the difference, so it immediately starts producing antibodies to combat the fake disease, which is why you may fall ill after immunization. Your body remembers how to make that particular antibody, so you cannot contract the disease again. This is the same reason you only get chicken pox once in your life.

A possible reason for some people to believe that autism is caused by vaccines, is that the age when autism begins to show in a child coincides with the age where most vaccines are administered. However, autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that likely develops due to genetics, and is unrelated to the human immune system. Currently, there are no scientific studies (that are not funded by a third party) that show a correlation between vaccinations and autism disorder in children.

By: Yuan Li 

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