The argument encompassing whether or not parents should vaccinate their children is ongoing. It is a very interesting matter to learn about and I possess some strong feelings about the case. This issue interests me because there are parents who don’t have their children vaccinated, and there are parents who do have them vaccinated. But all these parents share one particular quality: they all would like for their kids to be safe.
Children come into the world defenseless and vulnerable. The lifelong health of a child begins with what type of defense can be built up. Childhood vaccine schedules are the first step in healthcare for children. A vaccine schedule is a calendar with a combination of vaccines at set intervals and ages for children to receive from birth to six years old *******. The recommended combination of vaccines on the schedule minimizes the amount of times a child needs to get vaccines. Maximizing the number of vaccines a child receives at a time guarantees by school age, the child will meet requirements for enrolling in school. The childhood vaccination schedule was created to be beneficial for children.
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? Parents with infants and young children have been tussling with this proverbial question for several decades now. With the advent of the internet and the World Wide Web, parents have been bombarded with a plethora of information about pros and cons of vaccines from all kinds of sources, some creditable, and some are not. To the non-scientific community, these conflicting information can create problems in the decision making process; thus, forcing parents to make the wrong choices and putting their offspring and others at risk. However, this article will attempt to address the importance of vaccinations, how vaccines work, why we should vaccinate, and why parents should not be afraid to vaccinate their offspring.
Many infectious diseases that once quickly spread and easily killed have been controlled or eradicated due to vaccinations. The efficacy of vaccines in reducing morbidity and mortality, particularly in children, is undeniable. Per the World Health Organization, childhood vaccinations prevent approximately 2-3 million deaths per year worldwide (WHO, 2016). In the United States, the value of immunizations is clearly displayed by comparing pre-vaccine era morbidity/mortality rates to post-vaccine era in regards to vaccine-preventable diseases. For example, prior to the diphtheria vaccine in the 1920’s, 206,000 people annually contracted the disease resulting in 15,520 deaths (History of Vaccines, 2009). However, between 2004 and 2014, only
Whether or not to vaccinate yourself/ your child has become a very important question to ask yourself. With recent news of vaccinations having a possible link to autism and many other negative side effects, it has become increasingly more important to weigh the risks and the rewards of vaccinations. While this may be a risk, the risk of zero vaccinations worldwide would have an exponentially larger and more negative effect on the majority of the world. Vacinations are the key to achieving longevity in life not only for one person but for the whole of the human species. This leads one to ask “if everyone is vaccinated, what is the difference if I decide not to vaccinate due to inherit risks?”
There are many arguments that people have developed and built upon that are convincing me of the importance of the vaccinations. The benefits of vaccinations really were shown when “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 732,000 American children were saved from death and 322 million cases of childhood illnesses were prevented between 1994 and 2014 due to vaccination” (Huffington). This is proof right in front of our eyes that vaccinations are working for some children. Something that saves 732,000 lives is a very important asset. Also, I think that it is critical to take into account the 322 million children that were saved from sickness. These 322 million children were kept from getting an illness that could be life threatening or even just uncomfortable. No matter the severity of the sickness there is an importance in the prevention of these diseases. Another intriguing argument for the continued use and importance of vaccines is that “most childhood vaccines are 90%-99% effective in preventing disease” (AAP). With a 90%-99% success rate it shows that it is so important to receive a vaccination because of the dangers of the diseases. In fact the 90%-99% effectiveness has “save[ed] 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year” (Shot@Life). This direct correlation between these two arguments makes this side of the topic even more compelling. Another statistic that creates a realization that there may be more to vaccinations than we see on the
Throughout history people have seen many public health innovations. Numerous advancements were made between 2001 and 2010. These advancements include “tobacco control, motor vehicle safety, public health preparedness and response, and occupational safety.” (Ten Great Public Health Achievements --- United States, 2001—2010) One of the most important innovations was vaccine preventable diseases. Many people believe that it is right for the government to necessitate children to be vaccinated. Others think it is wrong and that the parents should decide what is best for their children’s health. It is beneficial for the United States government to require young children in the United States to get vaccinations including hepatitis A and B,
People in the United States are urged from day one that vaccinations are important for the well being of their children and for everyone that your child may come in contact with. Recently, childhood vaccinations have been stigmatized as a negative process. Parents have become increasingly concerned about the effects and side effects of vaccinations. The problem being, that the infectious diseases that are being prevented for, are being forgotten about. Vaccinations have been doing their job in protecting us for so long that the infectious diseases are less scary than vaccination process itself (Austvoll-Dahlgren & Helseth, 2012, p. 271). Vaccinations are a preventative measure and one that will continue to be implemented in children for their individual safety and for the safety of the public. However, it is still the families’ choice whether or not they want to proceed with the vaccination process or not. Most vaccinations are going to be administered by a registered nurse, therefore, it is the role of the nurse to supply information, and answer questions when counseling families through this process. The goal is to make people feel as comfortable and as informed as possible so that they can make a decision on whether to submit to the vaccination process or not.
Controversy concerning the risks of vaccinations will always exist. As is the nature of a preventative intervention, it is difficult to rationalize giving a completely healthy child an injection that is known to have varying degrees of sides affects5. Additionally, these injections are to provide immunity to children for diseases that have an extremely low risk of circulating within a population. Since these vaccines have been able to protect so many individuals from experiencing these dangerous infections, most parents do not even have personal experiences regarding the impact of these diseases. As such, many parents do not see the vaccine-preventable disease as a threat to their child. This often causes parents to not fully understand the risk their child has for contracting a disease and the subsequent danger of a vaccine-preventable disease infection verses the potential side effect of a vaccine which is normally only mild to moderate discomfort for their child15.
Parents are bombarded with information when it comes to their children and their children’s health and it happens the moment they are born. One main question they face off the bat is whether to immunize or not. For children ages 0-18, the CDC recommends vaccinations against 16 diseases, many of which could result in devastating illnesses and even death. Several injections coupled with several possibilities of severe reactions, pain, irritation, itching, ect. But through extensive, heavily monitored research and effectiveness, and evidence-based science illustrating the improvements and protection of the community it is clear that their benefits outweigh their risks. This paper will outline why the decision to immunize is one less
Hendrix, Kristin S., et al. "Ethics and Childhood Vaccination Policy in the United States." American Journal of Public Health, vol. 106, no. 2, Feb. 2016, pp. 273-278. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302952.
“In 2011 alone, 1.5 million children died [worldwide] from diseases preventable by currently recommended vaccines” (“Immunization” 2). The magnitude of this tragedy is in part caused by the fact that some of those children simply weren’t reached by organizations like UNICEF, which aim to vaccinate children (“Immunization” 2). However, there are other reasons for the recent deaths and epidemics—such as the whooping cough epidemic of 2012, with 48,000 cases nationally in the United States—involving vaccine preventable diseases (McClay 1).
Vaccinations are considered to be the greatest health development of the 20th century. Because of advancements in medicine, vaccinations are becoming a widespread medium in the prevention of disease. They have provided the eradication and immunity to many deadly diseases such as smallpox, polio and rubella. Although there is no law that mandates the vaccination of children, they are necessary to prevent the infliction of disease and harm. By making the decision to vaccinate their children, a parent has the potential to save their lives.
published a controversial study in British journal Lancet where he linked MMR vaccination to autism. (Should I include what his study was based on and results?) Years later, many other studies proved it wrong but mistrust of science and mistrust of government is still there (2011). For example, Phea Paul study stated that there is no evidence that autism is cause by any vaccine and therefore no reason for parents to deny a child protection in today’s vaccines offered (2009). His study shows that if comparing risks mathematically of death or disability as a result of not vaccination a child which are small, to the risks of causing an autism spectrum disorder by immunizing it increases significantly.