The issue regarding vaccinations and their accompanying side effects has been a prevalent debate throughout society and medicine for a number of years. Some continue to believe that vaccinations are harmful and actually promote disease, but the truth is that the concept of immunization is one of the most significant advances in scientific history that has led to the prevention of countless diseases and epidemics throughout the world. Still, despite the overall improvement of public health, the usage of vaccinations remains a controversial concern that is constantly challenged. Vaccination critics argue that the serious side effects associated with vaccines have been underreported, underfunded, and rarely researched. This, however, is false. Vaccinations are a necessary part of society because they prevent the spread of major diseases, reduce the severity of illness, boost oneâ€™s immune system, and in turn, protect the populous from potential epidemics. The definition of a vaccination, as stated by the Encyclopedia Britannica, is â€œa suspension of weakened, killed, or fragmented microorganisms or toxins or of antibodies or lymphocytes that is administered primarily to prevent diseaseâ€ (Encyclopedia Britannica). Vaccines stimulate the immune system to attack the specific harmful agent and then cause the anti-bodies to remain sensitized in case the agent should ever reappear in oneâ€™s system. Obviously, this can be helpful when trying to prevent disease, or any other illness for that matter, since the anti-bodies specific to that type of illness remain present in oneâ€™s body lest the illness returns. Since infants are extremely susceptible to infirmity, many are vaccinated as early as the first month of their life. This helps p... ...ubmed/11032190>. Encyclopedia Britannica. "Science & Technology::Vaccine." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Web. . Fisher, Barbara Loe. "In the Wake of Vaccines." Mothering.com 126 (2004): n. pag. Web. 30 Nov 2010. . Narins, Brigham. World of Microbiology and Immunology. 1. Farmington Mills, MI: Gale, 2003. Web. . Riedel, Stefan. "Edward Jenner and the History of Smallpox and Vaccination." Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings 18.1 (2005): 21-25. Web. 1 Dec 2010. . Williams, Tony. "God's Will and Dead Viruses." Internet Review of Books Sep. 2010: 304. Web. 30 Nov 2010. .
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