Shots, shots, shots (the under-21 kind, that is)

Alexa Seras

Getting a vaccine goes a long way towards eliminating deadly diseases.

By Jenan Taha, Lauren Pantleo and Vaishali Shah

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Sometimes we get a rush of stories revolving around the same topic. This week, it’s vaccinations: who should get them, why they matter, and why people choose to abstain. Here are three stories that explore what happens when we immunize, and what happens when we don’t.

From Clear Creek High School, Jenan Taha reports:

[A] 1998 study… graphed a trend in the increasing amounts of MMR vaccinations in the UK, and found that the increasing trend in autism apparently correlated with the increasing amount of MMR vaccinations.

However, this study was retracted [for] unethical research practices. The study was also proven false by several replicated studies, including by the CDC and Columbia University, which found that autism and the MMR vaccine had no correlation.

“That study did a lot of harm,” Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation, said. “People became afraid of vaccinations.”

Read the full story here.

Next, an opinion piece from Lauren Pantleo at Carlisle High School:

Hibben-White, who previously lost her 5-year old daughter due to a incurable illness, ended her argument by saying, “You would be the first to line up if you had an inkling of what the death of a child feels like. You would be crawling through the streets on your hands and knees, begging… to get that vaccine. That is what I would have done, if I could, to save my daughter. The fact is, there was no vaccine for her. Not for her illness. And she died. She died at age five and a half, and she is gone.”

Read the full story here.

Finally, from Vaishali Shah at Parkway West High School:

A mother of three living in Oregon, Jolynn Reynolds opted out of the measles shot for her children due to personal beliefs. “I’m their parent, I’m in charge of that decision and I sure would hate to inject them with something that has a potential high risk of hurting them,” Reynolds said.

While Reynolds believes that it is her individual choice to make the decision, law-makers are deciding whether to place restrictions on opting out of the measles vaccine. In Oregon, parents must now get their children vaccinated before Wednesday, Feb. 18, or they will not be allowed to attend school. Even if parents decide not to get the vaccine for their children, they must still watch an educational video before making a claim as to why they will not be receiving the shot.

Read the full story here.