When looking at the long lifespans that humans are living out, we can give our thanks to vaccines. Vaccines have saved millions of lives, yet are increasingly the target of social criticism. As a global community, the anti-vaccine movement is one of the most pressing issues we are experiencing culturally. The risks that come from not vaccinating are staggering, and illnesses that once plagued children, such as polio, measles, and whooping cough, are having the chance to rise again in frequency. To see these illnesses occur again with decreasing use of vaccines would put our entire society at risk.

The scientific community never backs anti-vaccine movements. There is no evidence to support such a mindset. However, with the prevalence of websites like Facebook, many sources of misinformed opinions are being shared as fact.

Consequently, more and more parents are choosing to not vaccinate their kids and citing it as a preference. When an unvaccinated person interacts with other members of society they could be unknowingly spreading infection or contracting it. For those who are ill and are unable to be vaccinated, this can mean life or death.

As a society we need to put our trust in scientists and doctors before a stranger ranting on Facebook. Vaccines protect us all, but they especially protect the most vulnerable members of our society from disease. Vaccines should be mandated to all healthy children, not allowing for personal choice. The culture has changed; the scientific consensus however, has not.

Anna Bower
LaCrosse, Wisconsin