Polio is a disease caused by a virus that is spread from person-to-person contact or by consuming food or drinks that are contaminated with the feces of an infected person (CDC, 2018). Fortunately, there is a vaccination that can prevent children and adults from polio, a virus that causes paralysis and sometimes death (Kaufman, 2018). Still, people decide to not vaccinate their kids or themselves, ultimately affecting their kids and others. That is why learning the benefits and risks of the polio vaccination is imperative.
The benefits to public health officials, the community and to other children getting the polio vaccine means the prevention from the polio infection, however, it doesn’t cure it. Getting the vaccine prevents people from developing permanent paralysis of the arms or legs, and sometimes death can occur by paralyzing the muscles used for breathing (CDC, 2018). Polio has been eliminated from the USA but anyone that isn’t vaccinated who is coming from another country can bring the disease and infect themselves and others around them, that is why getting vaccinated is a benefit for everyone (CDC, 2018). Yet, although there aren’t very serious side effects to polio vaccine besides sore spot were the shot was given, other problems that could happen is fainting, longer-lasting shoulder pain other than soreness, and a 1 in a million doses of chance to get an allergic reaction (CDC, 2018). Although the side effects of polio, when they do occur, it’s usually mild and the benefits are better than the risks, still parents decide to not vaccinate their kids.
Some parents and health care professionals question the CDS’s recommendations and decide to not vaccinate their children, and ultimately causing serious lifelong issues to their kids and other kids. Since polio is spread from person-to-person, deciding to not vaccinate means risking your child and other kids from a lifelong paralysis that can lead to death. Even if someone seems to fully recover from polio, the disease can still 15 to 40 years later develop new muscle pain, weakness, or paralysis (CDC, 2018). Others choose to vaccinate their children along an alternative schedule affecting both their own kid and others around them, particularly those with weakened immune systems (Kaufman, 2018). Similarly, whether the government should have the right to compel vaccination or parents have the right to refuse it is an ethical dilemma. Goodness (or rightness) is one of The Basic Principles for Common Moral when thinking of the government having the right to compel vaccination. Forcing parents to vaccinate will follow the principle ?to do no harm’ (Cottrell, 2017). Preventing kids from affecting one another and others from harm is a common goal everyone should follow to ?provide for the greater good of the community’ (Cottrell, 2017). When it comes to parents having the right to refuse vaccination, it’s a dilemma because a parent or anyone should have the right to deny vaccinations to their children because it’s their right, but when it comes to harming their kids and others, it isn’t fair for the parents to have a say who gets to be sick or die.
Vaccines are different from other types of personal health decisions in that they are seen as a social norm rather than a decision. Vaccines are also different in that they have larger consequences if parents decide to not vaccinate their children than personal health decisions. Doctors should be the first ones to have a say who should receive a specific vaccine. After all, they did go to school for years to know more than a parent’s health decision. The government should then step in and decide the vaccinations that children should receive if the parents still decided not to vaccinate even after the doctors explain the benefits of the vaccines and the consequences of not vaccinating their kids
Although the United States has been polio-free for more than 30 years, the disease is still around in other parts of the world (CDC,2018). Those who are not vaccinated can bring the virus over and cause lifelong paralysis consequences to their kids, themselves, and others because they refused or didn’t vaccinate. Its beneficial to vaccinate for polio because it prevents permanent disability that can cause death, usually by paralyzing the muscles used for breathing. Ultimately, one should have the right to decide for their child but when it involves harming their kid in the future or others, those rights should be taken away.
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