Your vaccination is keeping me alive

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. When people aren't vaccinated, they risk not only their health, but the health of people around them. In OPRF, a school of 3,500+ people, one infected person can easily create an outbreak of a dangerous disease.

As a member of the community who is immunocompromised, I rely on herd immunity to stay healthy. Herd immunity, or community immunity, is the practice of having at least 90-95% of people vaccinated against a disease, so that one case doesn't spread, and turn into an epidemic.

Without herd immunity, I wouldn't be able to lead a normal life. My medical condition, X-Linked Agammaglobulinemia, or XLA, makes my body unable to produce B-cells, which make up half of a healthy person's immune system, and are responsible for fighting diseases and viruses that enter the body.

Thankfully, there is a treatment for my condition. Every month, I get an infusion that boosts my immune system to close to the same level as everyone else's; I also take an antibiotic daily. However, there's no cure. And even with everything that I do, I am still more likely to get sick than a person with a normal immune system. If I get sick, I could get much sicker than someone else. I rely on my community to be immunized so that diseases are kept away. 

To me, the question of vaccination seems like a no-brainer. With study after study proving their effectiveness with minimal risks, it's a shock to me that people still don't want to vaccinate. I understand that some religions may have objections to modern medicine, and I don't want to advocate against religious freedom, but at a certain point, you have to wonder how important complete religious freedom is against the health of an entire population. 

Asking everyone to get vaccinated, a shot or two a year in most cases, seems like a reasonable request. Not only is it extremely beneficial to you with very minimal risks to your health, but it also helps protect people like me and two of my three brothers who also have XLA, as well as patients on chemotherapy, the elderly, and young children, especially when we can't protect ourselves.

Holden Green

OPRF High School student

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