To Immunize or Not?

Immunization programs have prevented millions of deaths and illnesses which has lead to the United States Centers for Disease Control naming immunization as the “number one medical achievement of the twentieth century” (Halperin, Pless, 154). Initially rejected by most Western doctors as a dangerous and barbarous practice, vaccinations started to gain support at the turn of the nineteenth century when English physician Edward Jenner created a new smallpox vaccine made from the relatively mild cowpox virus.
During the twentieth century, scientific innovations led to the development of improved vaccines for several infectious diseases. Eventually, as a result of widespread immunizations, previously devastating illnesses such as diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus became rare. Smallpox was declared eradicated as a naturally occurring illness (Halpering ,Pless, 154) , and polio is expected to be abolished globally in the twenty-first century ( Most health experts also believe that the eradication of measles is possible. So if vaccinations can keep our children from developing diseases that could lead to their death, why are so many parents choosing to not vaccinate their children?
The internet is the first and I believe the most powerful reason many parents are choosing to not vaccinate their children. Unfortunately, this is probably the most unreliable source that a parent should base their reasoning on. Anyone and everyone can put information on the internet. And as a parent, as soon as you read about something negative that could happen to your child from immunizations, you start to have doubts. For example, as I started my research for this topic the first thing I typed into Google was “Safety of Immunizations”. Well there were plenty of websites saying how immunizations protect against deadly diseases, but there were also plenty of websites claiming immunizations were poison and why would you poison your child? How does a parent know...