Health Lifestyle

To Vax

Written by Heather Penn

When it comes to vaccinations it seems there is a large divide. A fair split of those for and those against you might say. No matter your opinion, vaccinations are a very real part of our lives. Whether a parent deciding to vaccinate their young, or perhaps deciding for yourself if you need to get that flu shot, the pros and cons are endless. The controversy surrounding each decision can only add to the confusion. According to a new study published in Pediatrics by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) the flu shot“is the first of its kind to show that flu vaccination significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from influenza.”

According to Jerry Brown of Medical Center Pharmacy on Airport Way, the use of “scare- tactics” involving vaccines isn’t doing anyone any good. “The fact is, the vaccine industry, like any industry experiences flaws,” said Mr. Brown. He likens the vaccine industry to living in Alaska. You get beautiful views, the great outdoors, and freedom to live how and where you like but the price for that is surviving the long -40 below winters.  Nothing is perfect.

There is no denying that through the years vaccinations have saved millions of lives. Take Polio for instance, according to, “Before the polio vaccine, the disease killed thousands of people every year. Thanks to the polio vaccine, there hasn’t been a new case of polio in the United States in over 35 years”. For some, it isn’t necessarily the shot itself that is the problem but moreover the alleged side effects they incur. For others, it is the amount of shots given at one time, or perhaps the age of an individual when said shot is given, either way there is no clear-cut answer to what is right. What we have are facts.

Mr. Brown would like to address the recent article that claimed that human DNA was found in vaccines. “Vaccines actually have their own DNA or in some cases RNA (single-strand molecule) and some vaccines are grown in chicken eggs, so if anything, there may be chicken DNA in the vaccine.” Mr. Brown believes that a “clear lack of knowledge” in regards to vaccines is part of the problem. He goes on to say that the FDA signed off on vaccines claiming they conclusively determined that “vaccines do not cause birth defects.”

This lack of knowledge can lead to outbreaks such as the one currently being experienced in Washington state.



Insert Pic from Washington State Department of Health


Mr. Brown expresses the need for herd immunity. If pockets of people aren’t being vaccinated then that can lead to an epidemic. He goes on to say, “we are in a world where we don’t know the suffering of things like polio. “The outbreaks being seen in several places across the nation are preventable,” said Brown.

If you have questions on vaccines or vaccinations Brown urges you to go to your pediatrician or doctor, also an underutilized source is your local public health office. If cost is your concern, Brown recommends contacting your insurance to see if the vaccine is covered.


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Heather Penn

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