Anti-Vax Haven: Vashon Island In Washington Houses Most Parents Opposing Immunization
A small island in Washington state gained notoriety for having the highest rates of anti-vaccine parents, and despite scientific consensus, these families are continuing to opt out from shots. With Donald Trump in power, non-vax supporters seemed to garner more support after the president argued that vaccines cause grave side effects, including autism.
Countless studies already confirmed the health benefits of vaccination, yet a quarter of residents in Vashon Island voluntarily exempt their children from getting a shot. Per BBC News, one in 10 children in the island did not receive any immunization starting kindergarten. This rate was twice higher compared to vaccination rates across the entire United States.
Mom Molly Matter belonged to the island's infamous non-supporters of vaccine. The law student mother explained that their preference of not getting vaccination bore out of society's value for profit over health. Instead of believing medical professionals pushing for vaccination, she said that parents should do their own research first.
Shamanic practitioner Eryn Defoort also argued that vaccines are harmful based on a substantial amount of evidence. Defoort said that they are not only against the act of it but as well as what these shots contain as these were claimed to cause irreversible side effects.
Just like other medications, vaccines cause minor side effects. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that these mild negative reactions, like low-grade fever or soreness, usually go away in a few days. The organization also confirmed that vaccines may indeed cause major side effects or even death but the chances are extremely rare.
President Trump believed and even promoted that vaccines are harmful despite lack of substantial evidence. Prior to his ascension to the Oval Office, Trump said that it can cause mental disorders after sharing that he personally knew someone who took shots and developed autism later on.
Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn't feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2014
Trump's opinion also affected other people's belief on immunization. According to Independent, a recent study said that one in three Trump supporters believe the same idea as the president's when it comes to vaccines.
Resident of the vaccine-skeptic island, Dr. Baruch Roter, explained that unlike others, parents in Vashon Island are not convinced enough to believe what the government and mainstream medicine promote. Roter is among the majority of medical professionals who believe that immunization is an integral part of health.
Roter explained that if there are no enough vaccinated kids, an outbreak may occur and this will affect the herd immunity. Also known as community immunity, this protection is beneficial not only for vaccinated individuals, but as well as non-vaccinated infants, children and adults.
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