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The Importance Of Vaccination

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) describes vaccination as being one of the ten greatest achievements in public health of the 20th century (CDC 1999) Despite this regard, speculation regarding the matter of vaccines has been around for nearly the entirety of their existence (Wolfe 2002). In his book, Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All, Author Paul Offit does well in informing readers of the ongoing debate regarding the safety and implementation of vaccinations. Offit begins his book by equating this debate to an ongoing war between hesitant parents and weary doctors. Both sides are motivated by fear. For parents it is the fear of possible side effects that may arise in their children. For doctors it is the…show more content…
The documentary did well in frightening viewers of the possible dangers of the pertussis vaccine. The main fear was that the P component of the DPT vaccine had the potential to inflict brain damage to the children receiving it (Offit 2011). Despite the gravity of this terrifying allegation the most damaging claim made by the documentary was the fact that the doctors administering the vaccines new of the possible threat. These accusations were enough to rouse many citizens of the time into questioning the actual safety of vaccines. In a way the airing of this documentary was a form of grassroots organization, as a large majority of ordinary concerned citizens began to suspect the worst of vaccines. Thus, began the start of the anti-vaccine movement.
Following this point in the book, Offit begins to list out various related studies which were used to support the claims of the anti-vaccine movement. While discussing these studies, Offit does well to address the concerns and motivations of the anti vaxxers. However, Offit also includes information from additional studies to dampen the claims of the supportive studies. Offit does not miss a beat as he works to retain his argument while also addressing the key points of the opposing side. Perhaps one of the most insightful points of this section of the books is Offit’s clarification of the early form of the anti-vaccine movement. Rather than being a movement against the use of vaccines (much like the movement we see in
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