Anti-vaxers should do their research before arguing

Jordan Boyer, Photo Editor

The social group of anti-vaxers, people who do not vaccinate themselves or their children, has been growing in popularity in the past few years.

If this group would take the time to do their own research into reliable sources from professionals, they would see the inaccuracies commonly associated with anti-vaccination arguments.

One common argument for anti-vaxers is the claim that vaccinations can cause autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no link or relationship between vaccinations and children developing ASD.

Many studies have been done on this, including a study done in 2013 that states, “increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines during the first 2 years of life was not related to the risk of developing an ASD.”

Anti-vaxers also bring up the ingredient components common in vaccines, such as Thimerosal, Formaldehyde, Aluminum and so on.

They claim that these substances are extremely harmful to children and develop long term health defects such as ASD.

However, the research shows that these substances are not harmful when used in a vaccination, due to many different factors that these people ignore or are just not aware of.

Thimerosal contains ethylmercury, not to be confused with methylmercury, that is harmful to the human body at high exposures. According to the CDC, methylmercury is the mercury commonly found in certain types of fish, and at high exposure levels it is harmful to the human body.

However, vaccines contain ethylmercury, a substance according to the CDC that is cleared from the body rapidly, so it is less likely to cause harm.

Thimerosal (ethylmercury) serves a purpose for being in vaccines; it prevents the contamination of bacteria and fungi within vaccine vials. Some side effects can occur like minor redness or swelling at the injection site, but the CDC shows that there are no other harmful effects from Thimerosal.

Without doing the necessary research, Formaldehyde in vaccines can sound frightening. Formaldehyde has been classified as a carcinogen, and some studies show that high exposures can lead to cancer.

However, once again, something that sounds frightening is not at all when used correctly in vaccinations.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “It is used to inactivate viruses so that they don’t cause disease (e.g., polio virus used to make polio vaccine) and to detoxify bacterial toxins, such as the toxin used to make diphtheria vaccine. Formaldehyde is diluted during the vaccine manufacturing process, but residual quantities of formaldehyde may be found in some current vaccines. The amount of formaldehyde present in some vaccines is so small compared to the concentration that occurs naturally in the body that it does not pose a safety concern.”

There are minuscule amounts of formaldehyde in vaccines and its presence does help; it is used to inactivate the presence of viruses.

The FDA later states that “studies have shown that for a newborn of average weight of 6-8 pounds, the amount of formaldehyde in their body is 50-70 times higher than the upper amount that they could receive from a single dose of a vaccine or from vaccines administered over time.”

Aluminum salts are used as an adjuvant in vaccines. The FDA states that an adjuvant is a substance that enhances the immune system response of vaccinated individuals.

The FDA later states, “Aluminum adjuvant containing vaccines have a demonstrated safety profile of over six decades of use and have only uncommonly been associated with severe local reactions. Of note, the most common source of exposure to aluminum is from eating food or drinking water.”

This article is directed to the anti-vax community, I ask you to please do research into reliable sources on the issue before you decide to put your children and other childrens’ lives at risk.

I am using only some of the massive amount of research into this vaccination issue, and how anti-vaccination arguments have little to no viability in them.

Yes, it is scary when you realize there are things such as formaldehyde and aluminum in your child’s vaccine, but those things serve a viable purpose and do not cause serious harm.

Some people may attack you for your beliefs; I am only here to help you find the facts on the issue.

So please investigate it, and you might save your child’s life.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major, he can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].