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Are vaccines safe? Show more Show less

Immunisation is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. "Anti-vaxxers” have firm convictions about vaccines’ harmful effects and many people believe their children have been harmed by vaccines. Others have ‘vaccine hesistancy’: they are not inherently anti-vaccine, but are concerned or confused by the mixed messages they are exposed to and want to do the best for their children.

Vaccines are unsafe Show more Show less

Big Pharma puts profit above safety, and promotes misinformation about the dangers of disease that our bodies are perfectly capable of fighting off without vaccinations.
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Vaccines aggravate existing illnesses

In some cases, vaccines have aggravated other underlying illnesses, with disastrous consequences.
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Health Warning Misleading

Context

For accurate information on the efficiency of vaccines, consult the WHO website.[1]

The Argument

In 2008, a nine-year-old girl in Georgia received a vaccine that aggravated her pre-existing but undiagnosed cellular disease. After receiving immunisations, the disease caused a brain disorder that led to brain damage.[2] In children, it is not always possible to detect underlying conditions. Any child could be carrying a disease that could be exacerbated by vaccines without any doctor knowing. This makes vaccines exceptionally risky and unsafe.

Counter arguments

Side-effects are extremely rare - far less than other medicines. These are utterly dwarfed by the effects of the infectious diseases they prevent. In the rare cases where the child may have a pre-existing condition that could be aggravated by immunisations, doctors are able to provide medical exemptions for diseases. In the US, approximately 0.05% of children enrolled in schools are exempt from immunisations on medical grounds.[2] If parents ruled out immunisations and medical procedures that had the possibility of aggravating an undiagnosed illness, they would deny their child almost all medical treatment. Almost all treatments carry the risk of aggravating an undiagnosed illness in some form. We must devise a standard for "safety" that means that the risk of aggravating an underlying illness or disease is sufficiently small to justify the widespread use of the treatment. Vaccines would meet this standard for safety, even if it cannot be called 100% safe.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Vaccines can aggravate underlying existing conditions. [P2] Therefore, they are not safe.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] This only occurs in very exceptional cases. [Rejecting P2] Therefore, we can accept that vaccines, relatively speaking, are a safe form of medical treatment.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.who.int/topics/vaccines/en/
  2. http://www.pacificpediatrics.com/docs/vaccines.pdf

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This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Mar 2020 at 14:31 UTC