Many parents across the nation are deciding to vaccinate or not vaccinate their children without knowing the proper information beforehand. Parents should be informed of harmful effects, benefits, laws, and the science behind vaccinations so that they can make the choice that is right for their family. Every family is different and has different circumstances than others, so it is important to take that into consideration when begging to research what the best options are for you and your loved ones.
As part of my applied project, I have decided to gather information on vaccinations to be used as a resource that parents in the Plymouth community can look to so that they can make educated decisions on whether they choose to vaccinate their children or not. I am looking to display information that will cover a broad array of topics so that parents can develop a full picture on vaccinations so that they can make informed decisions. I have found this need for this kind of knowledge to be so important for families after doing my own research.
As I have learned from doing my research paper on vaccines, the public does not know enough about them. After reading countless studies, it seem that the bottom line is that there is not enough education out there to the people, therefore many are afraid of vaccinating their children and themselves. I too personally do not feel as though I have had enough education on vaccines to be able to make a really informed choice on them. I’ve always personally just gotten vaccines blindly because my doctor said to and never asked questions. I felt as though if I took the time researching every aspect of vaccines, I would be able to make better decisions and I could also use that information to share with others. Of the course of the last few months of looking at vaccines through every lens I could, I feel as though I have gained a pretty good hold of why we need them, but also what the concerns are about them. Before I never knew what to ask my doctor, I just said “okay” and got a shot in the arm, which happens almost every single time I visit the doctor. Now I feel like I can have a conversation with my doctor about the vaccine and what I should be concerned about. It has also opened my eyes up to a whole new train of thought.
As part of my applied project, I wanted to immerse myself into the anti-vaccination movement so that I could understand where people were coming from, that way I would know first hand what kind of information they may be seeking. I joined a Facebook page for New Hampshire that has a community of over 1,000 members of people who are “anti-vaxxers.” I wanted to see what was going on right in my home state. Over the course of this semester I have seen so much on this page that shows me that lack of education is such a huge cause of the problem. For example, Andrew Wakefield was a scientist whom published the famous study linking the MMR vaccine to Autism. This study was later retracted and found to be fraudulent because Wakefield was paid to put out those findings and had no scientific evidence to back it up. This myth has since been disproved multiple times. On the Facebook group I have joined, a person shared the Wakefield study on the page to prove her point that vaccines cause Autism, but in her post she did not mention that the study had actually been retracted and has no truth to it what so ever, she was sharing it as factual information to the community. This is a prime example of why we need more education on vaccines to get out to the public. Even though a study has been retracted for many years and is a very famous example of some of the first ‘fake news,’ people still believe it is real. This post went out only a few weeks ago and people were commenting on, liking, and sharing the information, which further leads to the spread of false information. I will say that since I have spent months researching vaccines, I may have more background on the topic than the general public, so for them to not know about the Wakefield hoax is completely understandable, but now we need to find a way to get the truthful information across to those who have not done extensive research in the area.
Please use the resources provided on on the drop down menu under the “Applied Project” tab to access these resources.
The information on this site is not intended to replace seeking medical care or advice from a medical professional.