Summary: Low Vaccination Rates in the United States and the Outbreaks they Cause

Since I summarized my final paper in my last post, I am going to use this post to discuss the key takeaways I learned from this project. I researched the reasons for low vaccination rates in the United States and the outbreaks they cause. I decided to specifically focus on measles, as low MMR vaccination rates and measles outbreaks have been a major problem recently. The most interesting and important thing I learned from this project was that the majority of the time, people are not vaccinated due to missed opportunities and a lack of access to vaccines. I knew this was a reason some people were not vaccinated, but I was shocked to find out how much of a problem this really is. The vast majority of people are unvaccinated due to missed opportunities and a lack of access to vaccines, not safety concerns or other objections. There is no reason outbreaks should occur in the United States due to a lack of access to vaccines and missed opportunities to vaccinate. Efforts should be made by public health officials to ensure that everyone has access to vaccination in order to prevent future measles outbreaks.

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Post #3: Low Vaccination Rates in the United States and the Outbreaks they Cause

I have finally finished my draft of my paper for this project and I hope to have it completely done tomorrow. I decided that the best way to convey my findings from this project would be in a paper. I divided my paper into three main sections: an introduction/brief history of measles and the MMR vaccine, vaccine hesitancy, and recent measles outbreaks. I concluded with public health efforts that can be made to increase vaccination rates and prevent future measles outbreaks. There was so much more I researched this summer that I could have included in my paper, but I wanted to make my paper concise and convey the most important information I found. I will briefly summarize the main points of my paper below. 

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Post #2: Low Vaccination Rates in the United States and the Outbreaks they Cause

I have finally finished most of my research and I am in the process of outlining my paper. Most of my time so far has been spent sifting through journal articles and books in order to understand why people choose not to get vaccinated. So far, I have found a few main reasons that parents choose not to vaccinate their children. Today, many parents believe that vaccines are not necessary and therefore choose not to vaccinate their children. Most parents today have not seen the diseases vaccines prevent against so therefore they do not understand the consequences of the disease. Another common belief is that natural immunity is safer and produces better immunity. While natural immunity does often produce stronger immunity than vaccination, getting a disease can often lead to serious complications or death, which is not exactly a good option. A lot of parents also believe that their children receive too many vaccinations at once and that these vaccines overwhelm their children’s immune systems. However, research suggests that children are exposed to far more pathogens in the environment every day than in vaccines. Lastly, I have found that one of the most common reasons parents choose not to vaccinate their children with the MMR vaccine is due to concerns about the safety of the vaccine. Many people believe that the MMR vaccine causes autism, even though countless scientific studies have proven this to be false.

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Post #1: Low Vaccination Rates in the United States and the Outbreaks they Cause

In order to improve vaccination rates and prevent diseases such as measles, it is first necessary to understand why people choose not to get vaccinated. So far, I have spent much of my time reviewing the literature surrounding anti-vaccination. I have also analyzed MMR vaccination data using R to see if there are any links between race, income level, and geographic location in MMR vaccination rates. I have decided to narrow my focus to measles and the MMR vaccine due to the differences in reasons for anti-vaccination in different vaccines.

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