Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, February 23, 2015

Group 3 Vaccinations Project

     My portion of the project will cover what would happen if vaccines didn't exist and also what would happen if everyone stopped getting vaccinated.

     If vaccinations never existed, measles, diphtheria, polio, flu, whooping cough, and a myriad of viruses would be in epidemic proportions in the world.  World travel has only increased since vaccinations were created.  Travel between countries would pose an even bigger threat to public health if vaccines did not exist.  Here is an example of one of the viruses that would be in epidemic proportions now if it were not for vaccines.
     Poliomyelitis, polio, is a crippling infectious disease.  Once the polio virus infects a host, it invades the brain and the spinal cord resulting in paralysis.  72% of people infected with polio do not show the symptoms associated with the disease (sore throat, fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, stomach pain). 1 out of 25 infected people develop meningitis, and 1 in 200 develop paralysis.

     Similar effects would occur if the vaccination process suddenly halted.  In 1974 80% of children in Japan were vaccinated for pertussis (whooping cough).  There were only 393 cases of pertussis in the entire country.  Plus, there wasn't a single death.  Then people became complacent and stopped getting vaccinated.  Only 10% of children were vaccinated which resulted in 13,000 cases of whooping cough and 41 deaths.
     If vaccinations were to suddenly stop, then the world would revert to the state it was in before they were started.  Diseases close to eradication would flare up again, and all the effort put into stopping them would be wasted.  The amount of cases of disease would increase, and a large portion of the world population would perish.


  1. My Portion of the project covers the History of Vaccinations.
    For centuries, the Earth has been plagued by disease such as small pox, whooping cough, typhoid, and yellow fever. The earliest known attempt at vaccination was around the year 1000 in China when a man claimed that he inoculated himself by having powdered small pox scabs blown into his nostrils. This rudimentary technique worked, but it was not widely used until a few centuries later. Inoculation wasn’t actually all that successful until a man named Edward Jenner discovered that cow pox could be used to prevent the spread of small pox in the late 1700s. As word spread that the inoculum was successful, people began to warm up to the idea that becoming vaccinated against a disease was no longer as dangerous as it was before. By 1820, deaths due to small pox were half of what they were in the 1790s. In 1836, Edward Ballard increased the potency of the inoculum by introducing new strains of cow pox.
    -In 1870, a man named Henry Martin introduced the idea of vaccinating animals to the United States. It was a long process and tedious process, but the results were promising.
    -In 1874, a mandatory smallpox vaccine went into effect in Germany, which significantly decreased the mortalities due to smallpox.
    -Around 1882, Anti Vaccination arguments begin to spread because people believed that the disease was due to filth, and not contagion. Although it was incorrect, it was a very popular idea.
    -In 1885 Pasteur created the first successful rabies vaccine.
    -In 1891 advances in vaccine technology were made when a man named Monkton Copeman discovered that using a germicide in vaccines could help prevent the transmission of harmful microbial organisms.
    -In 1893 low vaccination rates lead to an outbreak of small pox.
    -In 1894, the first major polio outbreak occurs in the US.
    - In 1902, the Biologics control act was passed to limit the sale of viruses, toxins, and serums. This act was passed for the purposes of quality control.
    -In 1980, small pox was declared eradicated from the world by the World Health Assembly.
    -In 1994, polio is eliminated in the United States.
    There are many more important events in the history of vaccines, but following the histories behind each vaccine would be very time consuming.

  2. My part of the project was to cover the supposed cons of vaccines.

    * Vaccines can cause serious and sometimes fatal side effects. According to the CDC, all vaccines carry a 0.000001% chance of a sometimes fatal allergic reaction, anaphylaxis. Some physicians believe that the MMR vaccine has a link to autism, diabetes, and many other learning disabilities.

    * Vaccines consist of some dangerous ingredients. Some vaccines contain thimerosal (organic mercury compound), aluminum, formadelhyde, and glutaraldehyde. In very large amounts, these substances can cause serious health problems.

    * Some people find certain vaccine’s ingredients immoral. Some vaccines use cells cultivated from two aborted fetuses in the 1960s, which the Catholic Church gave affront to, citing that there was a “there is a grave responsibility to use alternative vaccines,” because of the”evil” of voluntary abortion. Vegan and vegetarian philosophies have claim against particular vaccines that use animal products such as chicken eggs, and pig gelatin.

    * Some believe that since vaccines are unnatural, natural immunity is stronger and more effective. There is still debate as to which causes better immunity, vaccines or natural infection, but vaccines seem to be doing okay.

    * The diseases that vaccines treat have almost disappeared. People think that since certain diseases, such as diphtheria, haven’t been heard from in a while, that they have become extinct. According to this logic, they no longer have to vaccinate their child against these “unheard of” diseases.

    * Many diseases treated by vaccines are relatively harmless and can be treated easily. These harmless diseases include chicken pox, measles, rubella, and rotavirus. Just because they can be easily treated, doesn’t mean I want to risk having them.