There’s really no debating that vaccines have helped a lot of people. The measles vaccine alone has saved more than 17 million lives since 2000. That’s a 79 percent decrease in the number of measles-related deaths!
In fact, vaccines have helped to completely eradicate smallpox and nearly wipe out the polio virus. They’ve also helped to drop the number of cases of whooping cough, measles and diphtheria to an all-time low.
Despite our great accomplishments in medical research, the number of vaccine-skeptics is actually on the rise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently found that although coverage of the measles vaccine increased from 72 to 85 percent globally between 2000 and 2010, that number has remained unchanged over the past four years.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where often times celebrities have more influence over public opinion than scientists do. Just take it from Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey or Selma Blair, who are all avid anti-vaxxers.
Anti-vaxxers have also been shown to have less faith in the government than their vaccinated counterparts. Dr. Kent Schwirian, a sociologist at Ohio State University, told the Huffington Post that people’s trust in vaccines has a lot to do with whether “they [have] faith in the government to run a good program, which tends to go along with a lot of anger and lack of belief these days about our institutions in science and so on.”
Many anti-vaxxers cite using alternative, or “natural” remedies over getting vaccinated, as many don’t want to put anything “unnatural” into their bodies.
Don’t get us wrong, natural remedies can be great for some things, however, preventing infectious diseases is not one of those things. There’s a reason that the number of cases of infectious diseases has vastly decreased since the invention of vaccines!
Maki Naro (pictured) created the comic, titled “Vaccines Work. Here are the Facts” in order to educate people on “the efficacy of vaccination and the misinformation campaign that threatens public health,” according to his website.
Naro has won awards for his comic illustrations and he's been producing what he calls "fan art for science" since 2010. "Vaccines Work" has reached millions of viewers (and has hopefully convinced a few people to vaccinate along the way)!
"Vaccines Work" details medical history and practically every potential counter-argument that an anti-vaxxer might have, from autism to mercury content in vaccines. And it does it all with cute little cartoons!
Naro's work is so important because it helps to explain complex scientific topics in very simple terms, that the average person can easily understand. And a lot of times, these topics that have important cultural and political implications that we all should know.
Vaccines go through extensive trials to make sure that they’re both safe and effective before they’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to the CDC.
And while we can never be sure whether someone will have an allergic reaction or otherwise to a particular vaccine, we do know that for most people, the benefits of getting that vaccine greatly outweigh the risks.
It’s great to keep an open mind and be skeptical about things, but when it comes down to it, it’s always better to trust science over hearsay and anecdotes, especially given the fact that choosing not to vaccinate can negatively affect others.
Share Maki Naro's comic with any doubters in your life!