Recent measles outbreak leads to controversy on vaccines

courtesy of Google

courtesy of Google

Hannah Dominguez, Staff Reporter

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) has released a 2019 report on the recent measles outbreak in the United States which has been reported in 11 states including California, New York, Colorado and Washington. The CDC says that the outbreak has been linked to travelers from foreign countries like Israel and Ukraine. They report that the majority of those infected with the virus were not vaccinated, and the virus can continue to spread from those traveling abroad or in communities that contain larger numbers of unvaccinated people.

The Washington Post recently released an article discussing how state authorities from several states are moving toward possibly requiring children to be vaccinated for certain illnesses. States like Arizona, Minnesota and Iowa are beginning to take serious measures regarding vaccinations. The recent measles outbreak has resulted in nearly 70 cases in Washington state alone, which is the worst outbreak the state has seen in two decades.

The argument against vaccinations is that they are “unnecessary.” A list of possible side effects are given for vaccinations on the CDC’s website, showing that the side effects of the vaccine depend on the disease. Some vaccinations can have more drastic effects while majority of them result in minor effects. The CDC says that the chance of detrimental effects from vaccinations are extremely low, yet some refuse to take the chance and remain unvaccinated. Some also argue that allowing your body to build a natural immunity to infections is better than getting vaccinated, but mild infections like chickenpox can be deadly and result in hospitalization.

An article published by the CDC on how vaccines work states that vaccines “reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses that safely develop immunity to diseases.” Once your body it exposed to the infection it begins to produce antibodies and T-lymphocytes, which are defensive white blood cells and can take a few weeks to produce. The vaccine allows the body to imitate the infection and cause symptoms like fever. The T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes remain in your body ready to fight against the infection if ever exposed to it again.

Vaccines are difficult to make because each must be carefully crafted for its particular virus or bacteria. Several factors must be considered when crafting a vaccine for a virus: how it infects the cell, the body’s response, the region in which the virus is affecting and environmental conditions that may have an impact. Some vaccines may even require more than one dose for your body to build maximum immunity to the virus and simply because some vaccines can wear off. In cases like these, the second dose is used to reinforce and increase the body’s immunity levels.