Vaccination: A Necessary Precaution Essay

1100 Words 5 Pages
The issue regarding vaccinations and their accompanying side effects has been a prevalent debate throughout society and medicine for a number of years. Some continue to believe that vaccinations are harmful and actually promote disease, but the truth is that the concept of immunization is one of the most significant advances in scientific history that has led to the prevention of countless diseases and epidemics throughout the world. Still, despite the overall improvement of public health, the usage of vaccinations remains a controversial concern that is constantly challenged. Vaccination critics argue that the serious side effects associated with vaccines have been underreported, underfunded, and rarely researched. This, however, is …show more content…
Vaccinations have been actively used for over 200 years now and have been effective for over 200 years as well. Western medicine’s introduction to the practice is said to have occurred within the eighteenth century, when a traveling British aristocrat, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, reported her observations of Turkish children being injected with pus from smallpox victims. Although this practice seemed quite harsh, most of these children would contract only a mild version of the illness. In return, these recipients would retain a lifelong immunity to this terrible disease (World of Microbiology & Immunology). Similarly, in the United States, a Puritan clergyman by the name of Cotton Mather learned about inoculation from his African slave, Onesimus. Onesimus claimed that he was inoculated with smallpox pus and never caught the tragic disease (Williams). This type of medicinal treatment was initially rejected by most Western practitioners. They felt it was a dangerous and barbarous practice, but vaccination gained a tremendous amount of support at the turn of the nineteenth century when English physician Edward Jenner created a new smallpox vaccine derived from the relatively mild cowpox virus (Riedel). There’s no doubt that history has shown the positive outcomes of immunization and continued to show them as technology and medicine progressed. The twentieth century gave rise to scientific and technological innovations that led to the
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