A Controversial Life-Saver

May 21, 2019


Photo courtesy of the CDC

A 1964 CDC poster with their mascot "Wellbee" promoting booster shots for children.

1796 – The smallpox vaccine was created after Edward Jenner was observing how milkmaids weren’t contracting the disease after they were exposed to cowpox. This later opened up the gateway to a healthy future and an end to wide spread epidemics.

2019- The first case of measles was confirmed in the Shadyside Market District building of Pittsburgh after being announced that it is no longer a threat to the United States in 2000.


A new wave of medical disbelief is crashing over the nation. Parents are opting out of possible life saving vaccines because of wide spread misinformation online, instilling fear and medical distrust in vulnerable, new parents that just want to make the best decision for their young child. This misinformation is now costing the lives of hundred of people, but the reality still hasn’t hit for some.

“The number of measles cases in the United States is now at 839 for the year, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly measles update,” said a Post Gazette article published May 14th.

Seventy four more cases were reported to the CDC the week of the 12th through the 18th, getting us closer to the 1994 record of 963 cases, but being so close to that record, just under half way through the 2019 year, it seems like an easy number to pass.

Junior Claire Lindsey knows first hand how dangerous life without vaccines can be.

“I’ve seen the effects of meningitis on my older brother who contracted the disease before the vaccine was available,’ said Lindsey. “It rendered him profoundly deaf and substantially affected the rest of his life.”

Even with these scary, preventable and previously almost extinct diseases returning, it still isn’t changing the minds of certain people.

Sophomore Elizabeth Priester takes a stance of caution when it comes to being vaccinated.

“Some vaccines aren’t heavily researched,” said Priester. “The flu vaccine, for example, is chosen a whole year prior for the impending flu season. The World Health Organization makes an educated guess, which is given to the CDC. Make sure you read studies on the vaccines.”

Many rumors about the side effects of vaccines have circulated among the hundreds of Facebook groups of moms, saying there is a link between unresearched vaccines and autism. After many tests and trials, the CDC and many other health organizations have clearly stated there is absolutely no connection between the two at all and are able to say that with 100 percent certainty.

Even with these clear affirmations of safety for available vaccines, hundreds of people still fall ill to easily preventable diseases. Maybe soon in the future, people will start to see that doctors do want to help and keep us safe and healthy, but as long as misinformation is still around, who knows what the future will hold for humanity.  

About the Contributor
Photo of Emma Velesig
Emma Velesig, Layout Editor

My name is Emma Velesig. I am a coffee addict, confused for approximately 23 hours of the day, hungry ALL THE TIME  and this is my story.

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