Lifeline Connections

Immunization Awareness

The immunization debate has been coming to the forefront of public conversation for several times over the last decade. August is known as the national immunization awareness month, to spread awareness of the importance of vaccines among the general population. Vaccinations are a good way to provide immunizations for people of all ages and work to control outbreaks of a variety of dangerous diseases. Misinformation around immunizations and vaccinations are rampant across the globe, and so it is important to understand the facts of vaccinations and obtain proper information.

Throughout the vaccination controversy there have been a lot questions in regards to the risks and efficacy of vaccinations. One of the most populated myths has been the argument that vaccines carry the risk of causing autism. What is not as frequently circulated is that this claim comes from a paper that has since been debunked, not only because of replication issues, but also because it was found that the data used in this study was fabricated and manipulated to make headlines. Since the publication of this data, the paper has been withdrawn, but this argument is still constantly sighted as a reason to not vaccinate people of all ages and leaves doubts in many minds. Due to the movement of people doubting and discontinuing vaccinations, there have been outbreaks, especially of measles which had previously nearly been eradicated from the US population.

Since vaccines have been invented they have been an important part of increasing the human lifespan and almost completely eradicating many diseases that people used to fear and leave people crippled from a young age. This is also where the concept of herd immunity plays a big role. Herd immunity is the concept that a disease will spread slower if a vast majority of the population is immune to the disease. The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely there will be dangerous outbreaks or death from preventable diseases.

In many countries people still suffer from these diseases because they do not have the resources to fight these illnesses with vaccinations and preventative medicines. It is important to get immunized, because there is always a risk of an outbreak spreading. Although, immunizations may have eradicated certain diseases in certain countries, travelers who come from countries without vaccinations can bring the diseases that lead to sudden outbreaks. There is also a population of individuals who cannot get vaccinations due to health risks and they are
protected through herd immunity.

Immunizations might also play some role in mental health, since the occurrence of some diseases might cause later mental health issues. For example, there is a study that show there might be some correlation between pregnant mothers who get flu and their child having a higher likelihood of developing schizophrenia. Flu immunizations in this case would play a role in protecting the mother from illness and the child from later mental health issues.

Whatever your beliefs are, if you are struggling with your mental health or you know someone who might be struggling, it is important to get to help as you would with any kind of physical illness. Contact the professional team at Lifeline Connections for help! You can visit or call 360.397.8246 for more information.

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