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Vaccines save lives

Vaccines save thousands of lives every year.

Proponents

Context

Over the last 20 years, the CDC estimates that vaccines have prevented 21 million hospital admissions and saved more than 732,000 lives.[1]

The Argument

Vaccines don’t just save the lives of the children vaccinated. They save the lives of those who are not vaccinated by ensuring pathogens cannot spread quickly across the population. They also elongate the lives of those born with other conditions by ensuring that they do not contract another debilitating disease that their immune system has to fight alongside their condition. There have been no smallpox cases anywhere on earth since 1978. Vaccines helped eradicate the disease. Polio also once paralyzed 15,000 children a year in the US. Since 1979, it has not paralyzed anybody. These numbers speak for themselves.[2]

Counter arguments

The assertion that vaccines save lives or that vaccines eradicate diseases cannot be supported by science. Historically, it is impossible to retroactively prove that a vaccine was responsible for the eradication of a disease. We can believe that a vaccine was responsible based on the chronology of the disease and the data available, but we cannot conclusively scientifically prove this fact. If you look at the data, you can actually draw a different conclusion. There are instances where infection rates dropped after a vaccine was discontinued, suggesting that the vaccine was not responsible for the eradication of the disease.[3] Also, just because vaccines save lives doesn't mean that they are safe. If they cause a significant decrease in the quality of a child's life, they are not safe, regardless of whether or not they save the child's life.

Premises

[P1] When vaccines are administered, fewer people die. [P2] Therefore, vaccines save lives. [P3] Therefore, they are safe.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] It is impossible to prove that the vaccine, not other factors stopped the disease killing people. [Rejecting P3] Just because they save lives doesn't mean they are safe. There are other ways to damage a child without killing it.

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0424-immunization-program.html
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/debate-over-vaccine-safety#12
  3. http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/dr-suzanne-humphries-on-vaccine-safety-they-dont-want-you-to-hear-the-other-side/print/

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This page was last edited on Friday, 21 Jun 2019 at 18:46 UTC