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The Fight to Keep Kids Vaccinated

May 09, 2016
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The debate between pro- and anti-vaccination parents has been heating up in recent years as the former tries to debunk the most common myths about vaccine history and its side effects. Vaccines encourage one's immune system to develop antibodies and immunity to a disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this process over the last two decades will prevent more than 700,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. Families in developing and undeveloped countries aren't so lucky with having the ability to choose whether or not to vaccinate. The World Health Organization is responsible for the annual World Immunization Week, which aims to raise awareness for this crucial life-saving practice--almost 1 in 5 children worldwide miss immunization for preventable diseases--and meet global vaccination targets by 2020. Huffington Post's Talking Science blog also mentions the additional importance of vaccinations: herd immunity. If extremely high percentages in a particular population are vaccinated against a disease over time (i.e., across generations), then the entire population's defenses are strengthened, even for those healthy individuals that have yet to be immunized. As a result, the more people that are immunized, the stronger everyone in the "herd" is. Community Immunity World Health Organization Because of fraudulent studies in the 1990s claiming that vaccines caused autism, vaccination rates have plummeted below safety thresholds for herd immunity. Learn more about WHO's 2020 action plan below, and check out the Huffington Post for what's being done in California--a state whose vaccination rate is comparable to South Sudan--to prevent more outbreaks among children and those with compromised immune systems. World Health Organization Vaccination Infographic
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