Talking About Vaccinations: As told by UCF Majors

Throughout almost our entire existence, man has been constantly evolving. Farming and nomadic travelling grew into fire and permanent huts. Those huts grew into buildings, creating cities and civilizations. Math and rhetoric of logic grew into science, which eventually grew into medicine. Diagnoses became more detailed and advanced, treatments advanced along with all the illnesses we knew, and remedies became more than just a gleam hope. They became a part of medicine. A large part of this were vaccines. Designed to help prevent what were at the time life threatening illnesses, this important advancement in medicine has allowed us to take control of our help, while simultaneously helping our brothers and sisters around us.

Which is why it astonishes me to see society completely ignore, and undermine this gift that has been granted to us by medicine. Watching the media tear vaccines apart with slandered evidence, seeing how easy a parent can loophole their way through vaccinating children, is something I consider to be a large step back. And while I can comment on it as an urgent social issue, there are others around me who have studied areas associated with vaccination and can see how it will affect us. 

So, while I may not be so easy to believe, here are some looks into anti vaccination, from UCF majors in respective fields.

Liliana Cruz

  

Tell me a little bit about yourself!

I am Liliana Cruz and I’m a junior at UCF. I am pursuing a dual degree in Biomedical Sciences and French, and also minoring in Music.

What key concepts have you learned from your college classes?

From my classes thus far I have gained an understanding of the human body at an anatomical, as well as molecular level. I have also delved into French and Francophone culture, while learning the language. Throughout my years at UCF, I have even managed to relate and overlap my two major areas of interest by researching the role of medicine and health practices in French & Francophone History and Culture, while also learning to communicate with another ethnic groups in healthcare environments. 

How do you feel about parents who refuse to vaccinate their children on grounds of medical slander/religious reasons?

I find the recent trend of refusing vaccinations nothing short of ridiculous. The most recent rumor circulating that vaccinations can cause autism has led many parents to refuse vaccinations for their children, when there is no actual evidence to support these claims. While the purpose of vaccinations in our modern day society might not be apparent, these vaccinations against life threatening diseases are the very reason we no longer have cause for concern. A small percentage of the population not receiving the proper vaccinations might not have a large effect today, but eventually if a large enough portion of the population refuses vaccines we could see reoccurrence of many diseases that we worked so hard to eradicate. Furthermore, should we see reoccurrence of said diseases such as diphtheria, measles, and polio, they could potentially become more resistant, leaving us with a population unprotected and susceptible to disease, and without a vaccine to prevent further spread. 

Do you consider not vaccinating your children a detriment to society? If so, how large of a detriment do you consider it to be?

I definitely think choosing to not vaccinate your children is a detriment to society. By not vaccinating your children you not only do you place your children in danger, but you also contribute to a growing population no longer immune to many life threatening diseases. While it might not seem like a big deal now, if this trend continues we could potentially face a major epidemic the likes of which we have not seen in years.

Erin Seo

 

Tell me about yourself!

I am Erin Seo and I am a senior (technically a 5th year,) and an Early Childhood Education major.

What key concepts have you learned from your college classes?

I've learned so many different things! I've learned about how the mind of a child works, all the developmental pieces and the importance of key milestones, and how to teach, assess, and manage a classroom.

How do you feel about parents who refuse to vaccinate their children on grounds of medical slander/religious reasons?

It frustrates me. I get that people don't want to put vaccinations into their children’s bodies, but they're actually doing more harm by not doing it, in my opinion. They're not only letting their child become more susceptible to whatever disease or virus the vaccine is meant to prevent, but also all of the other children they may come in contact with. This also happens with colleges. UCF certainly requires a person to have certain vaccinations prior to entry. If you do not have them, you are not allowed to enroll in any courses.  

Do you consider not vaccinating your children a detriment to society? If so, how large of a detriment do you consider it to be?

I do consider it a detriment to society. I think that it creates more of a chance for children to get a serious illness and risk spreading it to others.

Ryan Clark

Tell me about yourself!

I am Ryan Clark, a sophomore at UCF, I like band and helping people. I am a Health Sciences Pre-Clinical major.

What key concepts have you learned from your college classes?

I've learned a lot about different types of health care as well as preventative methods for diseases. Learning about different illnesses and how they affect the body is one of my favorite parts about this major!

How do you feel about parents who refuse to vaccinate their children on grounds of medical slander/religious reasons?

Vaccinations give the human body the opportunity to be exposed to a pathogen and learn how to react to it on its own with the use of its own defense system. Not being a religious individual, I have never had an issue leading with science when it comes to my health. Even though people adhere very strictly to religious beliefs, I do believe that one’s own well-being should be the most important thing people consider when making decisions for themselves or their loved ones. Every vaccine has some sort of side effect, just like most medications, but they are usually extremely rare and allow the benefits to outweigh the risks. There will always be adverse side effects when it comes to medicine and when something extreme happens, the media is the first to blow up on an issue, like vaccines causing autism. While I do agree that taking too many vaccines at once may be harmful, the risk of letting a loved one fall ill is not a risk I’m willing to take.

Do you consider not vaccinating your children a detriment to society? If so, how large of a detriment do you consider it to be?

Not vaccinating your children is a huge detriment to society, considering the fact that not vaccinating your children increases their risk of encountering certain diseases or illnesses that their bodies may not be able to handle. Not allowing your child to remain happy and healthy is one of the things I’m going to think about when I have children. There will always be parents that say "What if my child is allergic to this vaccine?" which is a very valid question. Every medication has a side effect and people can be allergic to anything. While being allergic to a vaccine may be deadly, there are ways to treat adverse reactions. I am allergic to the DPT vaccine which treats Diphtheria and Pertussis. We receive this vaccine after birth as well as later in childhood and early adulthood. After having an adverse reaction, the vaccine was removed, and I returned to being a healthy baby in a matter of a few days. While reactions can occur, I would rather take the risk of not being at a disadvantage when a pathogen comes to take my child's wellbeing.

With more empirical evidence from individuals with relative experience, how do you feel now about this social issue?

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