Vaccines: the unknown importance


With prom right around the corner, senior Karen Sanchez went to Los Angeles to buy a dress. She never thought she would become infected with impetigo.

Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection that causes blisters or sores on your face or on your whole body. Sanchez woke up the day after returning from Los Angeles with a bump on her face, thinking it was just a pimple. “I thought everything was fine, but then a week later I woke up with bumps all over my face.” She said, “I went to the hospital and that’s were they told me I was infected.”

Sanchez has all her vaccines, but she believes she could have contracted the disease  from people who did not get vaccinated.

In 1998, Andrew Wakefield, a former gastroenterologist and medical researcher, said that the Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccine caused autism. Wakefield published his theory in one of the world’s best known medical journals, The Lancet. There was no scientific proof to back up what he had claimed. Once this data was proven to be made up, it was already too late. Wakefield’s false statements had already been read by many parents, and his ideas were spread around the internet. These parents, under false pretenses, are now refusing for their children to get vaccinated.

Alana Grisby, a freshman, makes sure to get all her vaccines. “It’s kind of scary to think that some kids don’t get all their vaccines,” she said. “Not only do they put themselves in danger, but others around them too.”

Carole Caton, the school nurse, believes that parents that are against vaccines should become better informed. She said, “It’s their (the parents’) decision. But each disease has its own consequence, so they have to know what each disease can do and that their child is not protected against them.”

Regular check-ups to your doctor are crucial to know that you are caught up with your vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is where the latest information about vaccines can be found.

There are vaccines that are required for one to go to college such as the Tdap, HPV, meningitis, and many others. “If one is staying in a dorm, colleges want to make sure that you’ve had your meningitis, Tdap, HPV, chicken pox, measles, mumps, polio, and rubella.” Caton said.

In April, two students at University of the Pacific were confirmed for having mumps. An outbreak then occurred on the campus when seven other students started having symptoms of the disease. The university and public health officials are working to have students get the MMR vaccine even if they already have it, for more protection.

When it comes to vaccines, Spanish teacher Raquel Prado believes that they should be mandatory before going to college. Prado said, “I want my child to go get an education and come back safe.”