Protecting children’s health from hazardous diseases

What has happened in the last years about topics related to vaccines is surprising. Sometimes, it is perplexing how people disregard the positive effects of vaccination. Furthermore, when I watched parents in media fighting for their rights to avoid children being vaccinated. It is like society want to ignore the complex process of creating and reproducing vaccines and eradicate diseases like Varicella, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Influenza, Yellow Fever, among others since their discovery in 1976 when the first vaccine created for combating smallpox appeared. All of them have affected or have taken millions of lives in the last five millennia. Without enough knowledge of the causes for a new epidemic but we observed the consequences from outbreaks like Avian flu, Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow or Ebola in different continents because virus evolved through time becoming, sometimes, arguing that they represent lethal threats for humans. Also, there are bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics making harder doctors’ choices to save their patients’ lives while they are treating diseases.

When we face these facts, it is not possible to promote the important responsibility of citizens to search for the right information for protecting themselves and their children from hazardous diseases. Even when it would sound simple, people had expressed different arguments to avoid or decrease the control over possible outbreaks after their interest of stopping the Public Health System to vaccinate children, which could have not been supported as a right to defend a personal choice. Especially, when Scientific, Medical and Health Organizations have tried to bring better alternatives to eradicate diseases like Varicella, Poliomyelitis, and give to new generations an opportunity for growing healthier than our ascendant.

Even when we are able to find different examples of supporting measures for protecting children against different diseases, we could not deny the historically value of increasing the number of kids able to get vaccinated. Furthermore, when we see everyday new groups in different countries supporting measures against vaccination. We cannot ignore the obstructive influence of these ideas in younger parents. Especially, when they are deeply interested to protect their children’ s health. Consequently, population would be affected by exaggerated or inaccurate information about risks or damages provoked by allergic reactions, Autism’s causes, toxins in the vaccines, among other reasons mentioned by some Anti-vaccination groups interested in increased the public awareness about the dangers from vaccines. Under these circumstances we are not only endangered children’s lives but citizen’s lives, especially when we have the alternative to travel across the world and interact with people from different nationalities in hours.

The irrational campaigns against vaccination.
The irrational campaigns against vaccination.

If we want to give information in a successful, our main interest is confronting and eradicating the irrational fear against vaccines, which means promote a discussion about the risks but supported by medical and statistical information. Nobody should offer advice to an audience about this topic without facts about the possible benefits or damages for children provoked by vaccines.

When we analyzed American, Australian and Ecuadorian societies in a Global context, this topic is more relevant because it is common that this new tendencies or “trending topics” in websites, popular name to find a theme in Twitter and later in Social media, would create confusion in cultures where the control over health issues without the right data probably increase the fear of population to vaccines. It is necessary to discuss these topics without ignoring the responsibility for communicating precise information, especially, from reliable sources able to give verified risks of making children take part in vaccination’ s programs. This kind of environment is necessary for and protecting citizens’ health, which could not be assured by Governments, medical organizations or NGO’s when parents are guessing, felling fear, doubting or choosing a path because they do not want to affect their children’s development.

Sometimes when we can find talented rhetoricians supporting vaccination and anti-vaccination movements, making harder the process of decision-making for parents. When someone could manipulate parents’ emotions using the data explaining the possibilities for a baby or a child to die after getting one or two shots of a particular vaccine, we can not deny how dangerous is playing with parents’ perception about how to protect children’s health. Under these circumstances, similar effects would appeared from what members of groups like Vaccination Liberation, Australian Vaccination- skeptics (AVN), set up like dangers from vaccination in their websites. Meanwhile, most of these myths are cited in  World Health Organisation  (WHO) website “Autism is provoked by measles-mumps-rubella vaccine” or “the effect from Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccine linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome”, among other cases provoking panic, mainly, in new parents, who are not even sure about how they are going to take care of their kids.

As an illustration, it is possible to search and find information against vaccination in different websites. Even when I am not trying to silence nobody’s opinion, I really believe it is wrong that someone will decide about this topic using incomplete or inaccurate information, this only will provoke more damage than vaccines. Contrary to any reader’s perception, I am not interested in supporting corporation’s position. Against this type of criteria, I only think the use of media for increasing fear in parents making them reject vaccines’ benefits while they focused their attention in the severe consequences would not necessarily affect who is defending their rights to discuss the topic but they will affect who must get protection.

It is logical the parents’ decision of demanding for better medical research for developing vaccines. Particularly, when there are cases like CSL vaccine in Australia, which affected 101 children after being shot in 2010. The explanation about the causes behind an increased fever and fever-related convulsions appeared two years later in The Sidney Morning Herald, where Darryl Maher, vice president of medical and research detailed as a possible reason “components of the inactivated virus retained in Fluvax in 2010 over-stimulated the developing immune systems in children compared with earlier seasons”. Even when the experts were not 100% sure about the results of the investigation it is important to think how long it takes to discover the causes behind children’ symptoms or other abnormal effects.

If anyone can search for information in studies about vaccines’ negative effects in children is important. However, nobody should demand a right to stop a complete vaccination program in any country only motivated by a particular vaccine’ s negative effects. It is reasonable to demand authorities do something to stop or ban the use of any vaccine, which has caused damages to kids. However, I do not believe the best measure is stopping all parents to vaccinate their children.

When parents fear corporations’ interest of protecting themselves from legal actions taken by them when their children suffer symptoms after being exposed to their vaccines, a different approach to sue or demand compensation or changes in the process of developing vaccines need to reach support. Although there is a lack of common sense if we let that few cases of children with negative reactions after being shot with a particular vaccine changed our perception about the benefits from vaccination to humanity since the first shot to combat smallpox was inoculated in 1798.

Every citizen has the right to demand conscious research for creating better vaccines but the idea of unprotecting children’s health because someone or a group is interested in expressing their opinions to convince others without scientific accuracy is really scary. It is easy to understand if someone believes they have the right to raise their children under their beliefs and values but if this situation provoked negative effects in population, it would not be considered like a private matter.

Sometimes you listened professionals, politicians or experts from different fields expressing their beliefs about why they do not support vaccination as a need for younger generations, especially, when they compare the vaccines’ benefits with unproved hypotheses, like one appeared in a study published in the famous The Lancet Journal by Andrew Wakefield, about the relation between measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and the increasing risk of bowel disease and autism in children, which had not been proved yet.

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