Is it still OK to “debate” vaccines and vaccine safety?
What’s not up for debate anymore is the idea that vaccines aren’t safe or necessary or that vaccines don’t work.
Folks who use those arguments against vaccines aren’t debating, they are pushing anti-vaccine talking points.
What Are the Pro and Con Arguments for Vaccines?
Why talk about pro and con arguments if we know that vaccines are safe and necessary?
It’s because vaccines aren’t perfect.
|Vaccines save lives.||Shots hurt.|
|Vaccines are cost effective.||Vaccines are expensive.|
|Vaccines work most of the time.||Vaccines aren’t 100% effective.|
|You are much more likely to get shingles after having a natural chickenpox infection.||You can get shingles after having the chickenpox vaccines.|
|Vaccine preventable diseases are much more likely to cause febrile seizures, non-febrile seizures, and worse.||Some vaccines cause febrile seizures.|
|Most vaccine side effects are mild and they prevent life-threatening diseases.||Vaccines aren’t 100% safe.|
|Vaccines can create herd immunity.||Some people can’t be vaccinated.|
|Kids can get protected against at least 16 vaccine-preventable diseases.||Kids get at least 13 different vaccines.|
|Immunity from some vaccine preventable diseases isn’t lifelong either and some diseases, like tetanus, don’t even provide immunity.||Immunity from some vaccines isn’t lifelong.|
|Some vaccine-preventable diseases, like polio, only provide protection against a single serotype, not against all forms of the disease (there are three serotypes of polio).||Some vaccines require booster doses.|
|Fewer people die from vaccine preventable diseases these days because most people are vaccinated and protected.||No one dies from measles anymore.|
And sometimes it doesn’t make sense to recommend a vaccine, except in specific circumstances.
“A MenB vaccine series may be administered to adolescents and young adults aged 16–23 years to provide short-term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. The preferred age for MenB vaccination is 16–18 years.”
ACIP on Use of Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccines in Adolescents and Young Adults: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2015
The MenB vaccine, for example, unlike most other vaccines, only has a permissive recommendation – parents may get it for their kids, but they don’t have to.
“First-year college students living in residence halls should receive at least 1 dose of MenACWY before college entry. The preferred timing of the most recent dose is on or after their 16th birthday.”
ACIP on Prevention and Control of Meningococcal Disease: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
In contrast, the recommendation for most other vaccines state that kids “should” receive them.
Why the difference?
Experts aren’t yet sure that the pros of the MenB vaccine, helping avoid MenB disease, outweigh the cons, which include the high cost of the vaccine, short duration of protection, and that it doesn’t cover all MenB subtypes. The cons aren’t about safety.
The Real Vaccine Cons
What about the “cons” you see on some websites about toxins, vaccine-induced diseases, and vaccine deaths?
This is when it becomes helpful to understand that the word “con” has multiple definitions.
These sites use anti-vaccine experts and other anti-vaccine websites as sources, present anecdotes as real evidence, and cherry pick quotes when they do use real sources.
They also work hard to:
- Scare you away from vaccinating and protecting your kids by never mentioning the benefits of vaccines and overstating the side effects and risks of getting vaccinated.
- Downplay the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and overstate the benefits of natural immunity over the protection you can get from vaccines.
- Make you think that vaccines don’t even work.
Worst of all, they talk about informed consent and choice, all of the while taking away many parents’ choice to make an informed decision by confusing them with misinformation, myths, and propaganda.
Of course, parents who have taken the time to get educated about vaccines don’t fall for any of these arguments.
They know that the evidence overwhelmingly shows that vaccines work, vaccines are safe, and vaccines are necessary.
What to Know About the Pro and Con Arguments for Vaccines
In any real debate, getting vaccinated and protected wins every time, because vaccines work and they are safe and necessary.
More About the Pro and Con Arguments for Vaccines
- The Vaccine “Debate”
- What do we do about politicians and physicians who promote antivaccine misinformation?
- Battling misinformed consent: How should we respond to the anti-vaccine movement?
- “Misinformed consent” rears its ugly head in Pediatrics
- Informed Consent and Vaccines
- Benefits vs. Risks of Vaccines
- The Modern American Vaccine Debate
- The vaccine debate has a real cost
- ACIP – Use of Serogroup B Meningococcal Vaccines in Adolescents and Young Adults: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2015
- ACIP – Prevention and Control of Meningococcal Disease: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
7 thoughts on “What Are the Pro and Con Arguments for Vaccines?”
gets polio like a boss
Contracts measles like a gamer #boss (roasted)
What a phony website here. Read this from the federal government CDC website about the DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis) VIS vaccination: More serious reactions, such as seizures, non-stop crying for 3 hours or more, or high fever (over 105°F) after DTaP vaccination happen … Long-term seizures, coma, lowered consciousness, or permanent brain damage happen …
Saggie is an amazing person
I think that shots hurt I love lemons and drinking milk and counting chicken teeth and swimming with toilets (not in them)
Hellooo pur purs I love to write and eat chicken teach and lick spoons