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Introduction to Vaccines and Antibiotics

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    “When Smallpox spread, epidemics were everywhere and killed millions of people. “After getting the disease once, survivors were immune for the rest of their lives. This led to the practice of variolation—deliberately infecting a person with smallpox. Dried smallpox scabs were ground up and blown into the nose of an individual. The person would get a mild form of the disease and, if they survived, would be immune for the rest of their lives. “In 1796, Edward Jenner noticed that milkmaids who developed a less serious disease, cowpox, never developed the deadly smallpox disease.

    He performed an experiment, taking fluid from the cowpox disease and using it to infect an 8 year old boy. Six weeks later, Jenner exposed the child to smallpox, but the boy did not develop the disease. The first vaccination was discovered. ” What is a Vaccine? A vaccine is prepared from the virus or its products, and made to act as an antigen without inducing the disease. When the vaccine is given, the body’s immune system detects this germ and reacts as it would if the person were infected. It makes antibodies against the vaccine material, which will remain in the body and attack if an actual infectious organism enters the body.

    Vaccine Effectiveness: “So, do vaccines really work? The answer is yes. The poster boy for this question is our first example: smallpox. In 1967, the WHO launched a worldwide effort to eradicate smallpox. They started the idea of mass vaccination. The last case of smallpox reported was in 1977 in Somalia. **next slide** This is a list of some of the vaccinations, showing the incidence of the disease before and after the vaccines were produced. Despite the health benefits vaccines may have, some argue that vaccines should not be mandatory. The life vs. liberty debate.

    Liberty was one of the founding principles of America. All citizens should have the right to make their own health care choices. Another one of the areas of debate involves health issues: People will still get vaccinations if they aren’t mandatory. The idea of herd immunity states that as long as most of the population is vaccinated, the disease will be contained. Another one of the major health issues in this debate involves the link between Autism and Vaccines. It’s possible that vaccines could trigger brain inflammation, leading to Autism. History points to a correlation between vaccines and autism.

    By 1983, all MMR II vaccines included Thimerosal- a mercury containing preservative. 7 years later, the prevalence of Autism increased from . 045% to . 2%. When two doses of MMR II were recommended, there was also a spike in the incidence of autism. The rebuttal to this side of the debate involves the following arguments: First, from a Utilitarianist standpoint, it’s better to save the lives of the many than to save the liberties of the few. Also, if enough people decide to skip out on vaccinations, herd immunity would no longer apply and the effects on health could be disastrous.

    In the Autism debate, it’s important to remember that correlation doesn’t mean causation. Also, Thimerosal was almost completely eliminated from vaccines in 2000, yet the prevalence of Autism still continues to increase. Antibiotics: “Antibiotics, also known as anti-bacterials, are drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They work one of two ways. Bactericidal interferes with the bacterium’s cell wall formation, while a bacteriostatic antibiotic stops bacteria from multiplying. “Penicillin is considered to be the first antibiotic, discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming. ”

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    Introduction to Vaccines and Antibiotics. (2016, Dec 25). Retrieved from

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