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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UNT chapter.

Science is a nebulous study that often contradicts and confirms itself in the same breath. However, some things we do know to be true because of science: plants need sun, humans need water, and vaccines prevent dangerous diseases. 

When we think of the impact vaccines have had on modern society, many would focus on the eradication of polio and measles; others would focus on how they believe vaccines cause autism. The hard and fast truth is that they do not. It shouldn’t be up for debate, but it is, and we have to deal with it.

It is impossible to talk about these claims without examining their effect on children. Young children are incredibly susceptible to illness, especially in a germ-breeding environment like a daycare or school. It is vitally important that at least some, preferably all, of them are vaccinated to prevent the spread of disease, via herd immunity

How can we ensure that children are vaccinated, despite the attempts of those uninformed of the risks of preventable illnesses? The Texas legislature must make it  illegal to not vaccinate children, save for extenuating circumstances. 

Currently in the state of Texas, all schools require 10 vaccinations, covering a range of diseases like diphtheria, the flu and chickenpox. Within the contained environment of a school, these illnesses can and will run rampant, and can spread to adults from there. That’s why it’s vitally important that the majority of these children are vaccinated. 

Extenuating circumstances would cover situations such as religious or health reasons. For instance, Christian Scientists do not vaccinate, and vaccinating children with autoimmune diseases with live viruses can prove dangerous. However, since 2003, Texas has allowed reasons other than medicine and religion to exempt children from vaccines

People who believe every ludicrous lie they’re told about vaccines do not want the status quo to change. People who want the best for their children, and for their community, must understand that things have to change, and fast. 

The Texas legislature will not be in session until January 11, 2021. That allows for a year of citizens pressuring their representatives to pass legislation that protects them and their children from receiving harm from preventable sources. If the legislature does not feel any urging from those they represent, they will not pass any laws protecting them. Concerned citizens need to make their voices heard, or it could be the death of us all.

Journalism major. I like dogs, poetry, and iced coffee, in that order. 
Scotlyn is a UNT alum, Class of 2020. She graduated with a degree in Digital and Print Journalism and a minor in English. During her time with Her Campus, she served as the Chapter President for two years, and also held positions as Chapter Advisor, Writer, and Chapter Expansion Assistant through Her Campus Media. And yes, her name is like the country, but spelled differently.