Opinion: Are vaccinations truly helpful or harmful?

Opinion: Are vaccinations truly helpful or harmful?

Christian Cohen, Print/Video/Photo Essay Story, Reviews/Club Feature, Breaking News/On Call


There are a lot of misconceptions about the vaccines that you should take each year or over the course of your whole life. Are they harmful or beneficial for you? Well, it can go both ways depending on which vaccination you take and how strong your immune system is. But first, a vaccination is medicine made from different substances that are injected into your body in order to prevent future illnesses or diseases like measles or Influenza (flu). Each vaccination’s ingredients vary from each disease that it is supposed to prevent or kill. Although there are only four types of vaccinations being used to create a setup for a specific disease, according to Dr. Sampson those four types are: Killed(inactivated), Live virus, Toxoid, and Subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines. Each of those vaccines use a virus to counteract a disease in which negative multiplied by another negative that results in a positive outcome occurs. Of course, results can vary.

Most side effects from vaccines include pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site, joint pain near the injection site, muscle weakness, low-grade to high fever, sleep disturbances, and fatigue. Severe reactions are extremely rare and are typically caused by an allergic reaction. According to vaccines.gov, only one or two people out of one million will experience a reaction. Allergic reactions may cause complete muscle paralysis on a particular area of the body, hearing or vision loss, or seizures. The medical profession often says, however, that it is safer to have a reaction to the vaccine than it is to contract the disease. 

Even with all of those side effects, it is a good idea to get a flu vaccination during the winter in flu season. More and more people are dying each year because of it and one probable cause is that they do not get vaccinated. Although this is true, I have experience in not taking the vaccines since it made me ill back in 2016. Ever since 2016 I have been perfectly healthy with no illnesses without vaccinations and taking care of myself also helps. Anyway, another good thing about getting vaccinated is that it protects the people around you from catching a disease or illness that you may carry, especially in a community. 

There are 26 vaccines that are used in the United States and they have helped prevent thousands of deaths over the course of the years.  According to Dr. Sampson an example that shows that vaccines help than hurt is that in the 1950s before polio vaccines were available, polio caused more than 15,000 cases each year in the United States. After vaccines were introduced, the number of polio cases fell to less than 10 in the 1970s. That is just one out of many diseases that vaccines can help prevent from spreading or even curing it altogether.

There are a couple of reasons that people don’t get vaccines, including: lack of insurance, fear of needles, fear of the side effects, or believing the false statement that vaccines cause Autism. There is not one piece of evidence or any doctor that stated that vaccines cause Autism, hence people shouldn’t fear a vaccine because of it. If people have financial problems, those can be solved since there are community health organizations, Vaccines for Children program, and state health departments that help families that cannot afford insurance and give vaccines to children for free. The side effects of vaccination can vary in each person, but it is very rare to see someone die because of it, therefore it’s a risk that can be taken in good faith.

With winter coming up, the flu is on the rise and other illnesses too. If you don’t want to get the vaccination then you must take care of yourself, watch your health, and stay away from people if you fall ill. In conclusion, just stay healthy for everyone.


Boulanger, Amy. “Everything You Need to Know About Vaccinations.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 22 Feb. 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/vaccinations


Vaccines.gov, Department of Health and Human Services, 2019, https://www.vaccines.gov/basics/safety/side_effects