Vaccination Trepidation


By Angie Elvir, Staff Writer

You’re sitting on the uncomfortable plastic chair; the nurse pulls up your shirt sleeve, and you feel the cold, wet alcohol pad being rubbed all over the targeted area. You hear the nurse’s nails tapping against the syringe, and the moment comes. She grabs your upper arm, she squeezes your skin, and before you know it, in goes the needle. It’s all over now; you can breathe again.


School Immunization Requirements

Many students at Miami High know the importance of getting vaccinated. Junior Melissa Ravelo said, “It’s the smartest way to prevent illness. Providing a weakened version of a virus helps the body become familiar with it, and I would much rather be prepared than have to fight without any protection.”

Junior Andrea Roque does it “to build up my resistance to viruses such as the flu.”

If you are a student in Florida, you must be vaccinated. The Florida Department of Health reports that, children entering, attending or transferring to a public/non-public school are required to be vaccinated against, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP), polio, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and Hepatitis B.


Is it safe?

Some people believe vaccines do more harm than good.   According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Depending on the vaccine, about 1% to 5% of children who are vaccinated fail to develop immunity. If these children are exposed to that disease, they could get sick.”

In spite of this,  many believe vaccines are safe. Anatomy teacher Mr. Ricknauth said, “They prevent us from getting diseases. Also, the mortality rate of kids has dramatically dropped and the rate of infection has also decreased since the use of vaccines.”

Senior Deysy Quirch believes vaccines are safe “because they have come a long way.” The first vaccine cured smallpox and stopped many people from dying, she said.

However, there are others who disagree. Senior Yaneisy Dampiel said, “Vaccines aren’t safe since vaccinations haven’t yet been proven themselves worthy. Yes, the amount of diseases has lowered, but not disappeared.”



Another concern is that vaccines have been linked to autism in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that, “Some people have had concerns that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) might be linked to the vaccines children receive, but studies have shown that there is no link between receiving vaccines and developing ASD.”

But that hasn’t stopped parents from worrying. On the website, a mother named Martine O’Callaghan shares her story.  On a spring day of 2009 she sat with her one-year old son in the doctor’s office as he got vaccinated against MMR. “Ten days later,” she reported, “he woke in the night, sobbing. His temperature was elevated.” At age two years and four months, the boy was diagnosed as severely autistic.

On the same website, Ain Johnson said, “I have a brother with autism, and my mother knew the day that he was born that something was not right, long before his vaccinations. But I still can’t shake the nagging suspicion that there still is a severe problem with the quantity of and ingredients in the vaccines.”


Parents Thoughts

Most students in Miami High depend on their parents to get vaccinated. Sophomore Daniel Gravier said, “My parents are very religious and are against vaccines; therefore, I don’t get vaccinated.”

Senior Yaneisy Dampiel said, “Parents don’t know, they just do what the doctors tell them to. Doctors push you to take them when they don’t really get vaccinated themselves.”

Sophomore Ashlyn Manjarrez also says her parents think it’s safe because the doctors tell her parents the importance of getting vaccinated, “so, they rather not risk it.”