New parents are regularly being advised to bring their children in for vaccinations shots. Children can be given vaccines for everything from measles to smallpox, though the latter is only rarely given out nowadays. The purpose of the vaccine is to prevent a child from developing a potentially life-threatening illness. This practice has been around for far longer than most people would believe, with records of ancient Chinese doctors administering vaccinations for chickenpox and polio. However, there is also a less-known dark side to the many benefits of vaccination. Some vaccines, particularly the ones administered to children, can cause side effects. While most of these side effects are mundane and can be safely ignored in most cases, there are circumstances that demand attention.
A recent example would be the reports that a variety of measles vaccines are causing juvenile diabetes in the children they were administered to. The research that was conducted eliminated all other possible factors over the course of their study, leading them to find that the only remaining commonality was that the children were all administered the same vaccine. Naturally, the only logical conclusion for them to have was that the diabetes development was among the possible side effects of the vaccine. The research team took the time to compare the relevant statistics and discovered that as the use of that vaccine went up, so did the number of children who developed diabetes. Whether this is a concrete connection is only suggested, but it isn’t the first time vaccine side effects have been recorded.
Various children who were vaccinated eventually developed something that they weren’t supposed to. The side effects vary from case to case, but the most common form of damage tends to come in the form of compromised mental health and stability. One child was reported to have developed psychosis and several minor neurological disorders because of a reaction that the vaccine had with certain parts of his central nervous system. There isn’t a whole lot of certainty as to how that happened, but there are several theories being looked into.
Genetics are pointed as being as big a factor in this as the vaccines themselves, but that opens up an entirely new can of worms. There is ample evidence to suggest that a number of the side effects are triggered not by the vaccine itself, but by the interaction of the vaccine’s components with certain factors determined by genetic make-up. Certain genes make a person more likely to develop side effects from the use of some of the compounds in vaccines. It is arguable whether or not these people are risking more by getting the vaccine than by ignoring it and letting nature take its course.
There is currently an on-going debate on whether or not it should be mandatory that parents have their children vaccinated. The benefits of such a thing are clear. The children are going to be protected from a variety of illnesses that could otherwise be either difficult or expensive to treat, making it an economically sound decision. However, that also puts the small percentage of people with genetic vulnerabilities at risk. Is needlessly putting them at risk worth preventing illness in the rest of the population? Would making vaccinations mandatory be considered an infringement of parental rights?