By Mollee Ryan
Freshman Music Therapy major
As of the year 2000, the measles were officially terminated from the United States. Officials applauded medical experts for their work and use of vaccinations to banish the devastating illness.
But from Jan. 1 to Feb. 29, more than 206 cases of the measles have been reported in 11 different states in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How you ask? It’s due to vaccine hesitancy, which is the refusal and disapproval to be vaccinated or to allow your children to be vaccinated. It has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top 10 global health threats.
“Anti-vaxxers” often present a number of reasons for not getting vaccinated, such as being afraid of needles, the belief that certain vaccines can cause autism, the belief that simplicity and going all-natural is healthier and parental rights. While these people are entitled to their rights their beliefs may be putting others at danger.
On March 27, Rockland County Executive, Ed Day, declared a moderate state of emergency, putting a ban on unvaccinated minors after a measles outbreak took the county by storm over the past six months. The ban will last 30 days and inhibit these children from entering public places like stores, restaurants, churches and even schools.
As soon as the story hit the internet, Day received copious amounts of backlash for the declaration. People were offended and believed Day was only trying to control them and what they can do with their children. They were afraid they may be getting their parental rights taken away.
But quite the opposite, Day had only been trying to protect their children.
According to the CDC, the measles are so contagious that “90 percent of the people close to [an infected] person who are not immune also become infected.” The CDC also found that two doses of the MMR vaccine have a 97 percent success rate and has yet to be reported of harming anyone.
I am all for standing up for your rights, and having a sense of individuality. I even believe in all-natural medicines and therapy. But by not vaccinating yourself and your children, you are putting both yourself and others in danger. If you contract an illness curable by vaccination, you can easily spread it to someone else who may not be vaccinated. This is what causes an outbreak and eventually wreaks hacov in a community.
It is simply a selfish decision to choose not to be vaccinated, especially when it has been proven by professionals that vaccines have not caused anymore harm than they have good. Day had every right to place a ban on those who are unvaccinated. He is doing what he has to to protect his community.
It is your choice. There is risk in all things, but it has been proven that vaccines stop epidemics and save lives. My choice is to vaccinate.