Lily Morici ’20: A popular wide-spread opinion about vaccinations is prevalent in the United States. The majority of Americans support the decision to receive and give vaccinations. To demonstrate the overwhelming support vaccinations received in America, one could say that vaccinations are homogeneous to a king. It sits on a high throne and reigns over the country, ready to send defense against any foreign invader. Subjects preach to the heavens about this grand visionary and are vicious when someone dares to denounce their monarch. Due to this universal belief, vaccinations are rarely talked about or debated, because people have only resided under one ruling for a long period, or in other words, have only been taught one truth. However, few anti-monarchists who reside outside of this circle of immunity and their goal is not to encourage anarchy but to create a new system that’s better for the people. 

The rate of unvaccinated children rises slowly, gradually increasing each year. Concerned parents turn down shots and doses of pathogens because of newly discovered factors. However, when these few people voice their opinion, they are viciously attacked, labeled “uneducated”, a “burden to society”, or “shameful”. Speaking from experience, it’s a difficult battle to facilitate. People hear me speak, but don’t listen to me speak. Whether that is due to political polarization or blind ignorance, the conversation remains dormant. Individuals no longer converse – we argue and think about our next point rather than listen to the other side. It leaves an ill feeling in my stomach, but in the distance, I believe a remedy is upon the horizon. As you read on, push aside your views. Internalize what you are given. I am not asking for a change in your beliefs, but simply that you, the reader, understand the other side. 

I have never been vaccinated. When I reveal this minuscule piece of information, people reveal shock and disbelief. Once someone finally comprehends what I told them, I’m followed with questions such as: How is it possible? Are you allowed to be in school? Are you infected? Followed by statements such as, “Oh no, you’ve totally had them, it’s a requirement if you want to leave the hospital with your baby” or “You need to get vaccinated, you’re a danger to our society”. As a young kid, I had no idea how to defend my decisions, or even think of an appropriate rebuttal. Through independent research, I have acquired more knowledge and began to formulate my own argument. The discovery of this information is not an easy task, due to the bias the media takes over. The information I stumbled across and the people I talked to informed me and brought me to new realizations. Not everything is as black and white as it seems. 

Before diving into logistics and factors, it’s important to understand a little history. In May of 1796, an English physician, Edward Jenner, discovered the first “modern vaccination”. In England, smallpox ran wildly, infecting many of the British population, resulting in the death of millions. However, he noticed that milking maids that had contracted cowpox from cows never got smallpox. Through experiments, he linked a connection between the two diseases. They both came from a similar viral family and had similar structures. A key factor separated the bacterias, cowpox is only common in cows and doesn’t know how to properly function in humans. This resulted in higher mortality survival rates in people who contracted cowpox. Due to the bacteria’s similar structures, the milking maids had developed immunity against smallpox. This revolutionary beginning caused a series of medical advancements. I am not afraid to admit it, the evolution of this invention had pure intentions that shaped the understanding of modern-day biology and medicine. It was a catalyst that saved lives. But as time grew, that beacon of light became something toxic, causing irreversible damage.

During vaccinations early years, it was a process of identifying what should be placed in humans bodies to create artificial immunity. The purpose of a vaccine is to train the immune system to recognize and combat pathogens. By injecting these antigens into the body, the immune system can learn to recognize them as hostile invaders, produce antibodies, and remember them for the future. Even I can recognize the logic behind this information, it’s rational to develop immunity against harmful bacteria. However, a person doesn’t need to put artificial preservatives in their system to thwart bacterium. Every day, a swell of bacteria enters our bodies, with or without permission. As people inhale these microscopic organisms, our bodies absorb them and fight them. This results in developing a natural immunity; no matter what one may think, natural immunities are more effective and stronger. 

There are different methods to convey this point, but I would like to speak anecdotally. In America, although schools try their best to sterilize their environments, a numerous amount of students make the school grounds the perfect “host”. It seems that when one kid coughs, the whole school seems to echo the same response within a few days. Dropping like victims of the plague, the average amount of students in each class begins to default due to sickness-related absences. Some may blame the change of seasons, the “common” cold, or the kid who sits next to them, but there is one thing that isn’t fulfilling its job description: your immune system. When particles (vaccinations) are placed into your body, your immune system becomes weak as it tries to face the chemicals and pathogens placed into the body. As a result, coughs, runny noses, and headaches plague the body, making a person punier than ever before. While students drop like flies however, I sit through all my classes feeling unaffected. People use small doses of chemicals to help deflect and block bacteria, but I have been fully exposed to most bacillus without any aid to bar its actions. This is a direct result of natural immunity and as a result, I have a stronger immune system than others. Skeptics feel as though they “need” vaccinations to protect themselves, but forget that human evolution has shaped people’s natural defense to guard stronger than any substance can. 

Consistently, I scrutinize “artificial substances” and “chemicals”, but one might wonder, what’s wrong with putting these compounds in my body if it will protect me? Taking one step back, putting fabricated preservatives into a body is never good. We are human, we’re not designed for anything man-made. Moreover, one of the main issues with vaccinations is the things they place inside of them. Compounds such as aluminum, thimerosal (mercury), and formaldehyde are dominant factors that cause wary feelings in the “anti-vaxxer” community. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, exposure to aluminum can cause lung problems, bone disease, brain disease, and nervous system issues. As defined by the EPA, mercury is a neurotoxin1 and independent studies show that tumors are developed when injected with mercury. Formaldehyde is a common element used in building materials and house cleaning products. Likewise, the substance is linked to causing cancer and has been linked to an increased risk of asthma and allergies in kids. This “holy-grail” short-term protection causes deleterious long-term effects that will follow a person throughout their entire life. Not even scientists and medical practitioners are fully versed in how it will affect the body in the nearby future. Humans already inhale and absorb noxious bacteria continuously. Intentionally inserting these will cause irreversible health issues, just for the sake of trying to block an easily treatable common cold. 

If the government understands that these substances are in vaccines, why do they heavily defend them? What could possibly come before a citizen’s health and wellbeing? Well, it’s a simple three-word sentence that holds power over any institution or government: lobbyists and money. Pharmaceutical lobbyists have been heavily lobbying U.S. representatives since day one of their production. Their goal is to distribute money to representatives that can create legislation for their own benefit. Likewise, pharmaceutical companies contribute heavily to the campaigns of candidates who will eventually return the favor. On average, Big Pharma spent $51 million in the 2012 federal elections and $32 million in the 2014 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). Some may think that this phenomenon isn’t a big deal, but the roots of lobbying reach deep into the foundation of the United States and influence people’s viewpoints and actions. For example, in the 1960s, the sugar industry lobbyists funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat in foods. Reputable scientists skewed and lied to the public, publishing fake articles and stories that demonized fat in foods. As a result, sugar sales spiked as consumers began to ingest an unhealthy amount of glucose. People put blind faith in their governments, institutions, and businesses, and it eventually burned individuals who did not question. It would be impractical for me to say that we should never put any trust in higher institutions, but others must be skeptical at times and do their own research. The public becomes ignorant due to their lack of information. A sizable amount of supporters lack knowledge of what goes into vaccinations and their effects because they’ve always been told it’s the right thing. 

As mentioned previously, the whole system remains a money game. I do believe that the construction of vaccinations held high intentions, but the system has become ruptured. According to Global Research, an organization that promotes the Millennium Development Goals through research and development, vaccines are worth close to $24 billion. Every person wrapped in the system, ranging from companies to manufacture to politicians, contribute to this cash cow. This is not a new phenomenon either. Companies such as EpiPen, who dramatically inflated their life-saving product to 400% their dollar value and results in low-income families not buying it, abuse their willpower over ordinary and naive people. We the people are seen as dollar signs, no longer flesh and bone. 

After reading this, some may feel a twinge of hopelessness. Outside of natural immunity, how does one protect themselves from the raging fire of infections and sickness? It’s quite a simple answer and actually contributed to the stop of bacteria: proper hygiene. Dr. Hudson, a chiropractor who has had first-hand experience of learning about vaccinations throughout her academic career, explained, “What people perceive is not always the truth. During the growth of vaccinations, a boom of hygienic and health care methods was discovered. We learned to wash our hands, bathe properly, drink more water, exercise, get more sleep, and eat healthier. These factors were overlooked in earlier centuries and it caused an influx of disease to run in the streets”. 

The enigma of diseases began to unravel during the swell of the 1900s to modern-day and finally, key procedures were discovered. However, these sensations were overlooked because vaccinations were introduced during the same period. With this platform, medical companies used this advantage to mass-produce their products. The credit was handed to the wrong victor. 

 

Even though this seems like a plethora of information, the discussion was only scratched in my story. Autism, ADHD, autoimmune diseases, monopolies, and more exist within this topic, but I wanted to provide a general lecture before exploring deeper roots. Now, I doubt I have changed anyone’s mind, because of the strong-headed mentality that exists within our society. Though, I hope that the topic can become more widely-debated and understood. I have thrown a line to those who read this, and from this point on, only you can pull it. Agree with me or prove me wrong, I encourage you to seek out both sides and find your own beliefs. I value the satisfaction of deeper understanding, not being prideful and correct. Explore the pros and cons of each side. Be a skeptic and find your own research. A vast amount of knowledge exists, but only those who wish to escape unenlightenment go out and seek it. 

Neurotoxins1Neurotoxins are toxins that are destructive to nerve tissue. Neurotoxins are an extensive class of exogenous chemical neurological insults that can adversely affect function in both developing and mature nervous tissue.

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