Necessity of Vaccines

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Being a parent is never an easy job. It is not unusual for a parent to question if they are making the right decision for their child or not. Today, many parents often struggle with the decision to vaccinate their child. Many parents are concerned with the rare side effects that come with vaccinations, which is why they may be hesitant to choose to vaccinate their child.  Anti-vaccination may be rational to parents who choose to put their child over the public good, but it is not a reasonable choice. Vaccinations are the key to keeping the United States population safe from outbreaks of infectious diseases. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, vaccinations are 90% to 99% effective in the ability to prevent diseases with properly distributed. Not only are the extremely effective, they also save approximately 2.5 million children from disease each year.  However, not everyone in the United States receives these recommended vaccinations. As a result of unvaccinated people, the population as a whole is at risk. To resolve this problem, a new law should be put into place that does not allow people to choose not to vaccinate their children. This new law is crucial to the people of the United States as it is the easiest, safest, and most cost-efficient way to put an end to easily preventable disease outbreaks

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The urgent need for this new policy adoption in the United States stems from outbreaks that often occur in schools, which may cause students to miss several days of educational instruction. For instance, an elementary school in Denver, Colorado recently experienced a chickenpox outbreak that stemmed from unvaccinated children who attended the school. The school allows its children to not receive the proper and recommended vaccines if the parents of the child chooses to do so. In the school, there was a report that two unvaccinated children in attendance were experiencing symptoms of chickenpox (Kovaleski). In response to this, the school and its health officials told the parents of the other fourteen unvaccinated children who also attended the school that it was recommended that their children did not attend school. This was done to protect the unvaccinated children from the disease in school, since the risk of getting the disease was much higher for them. The vaccinated children at school were able to continue going to class due to their parents giving them the proper vaccines needed. However, because the parents of the unvaccinated children chose to be against vaccines, mainly due to religious reasoning in this case, these unvaccinated children were not able to attend approximately twenty-one days of school the amount of days in which the chickenpox virus could be dormant.

The chickenpox vaccine, varicella, is 99% e?¬?ective at preventing the chickenpox infection in children (Kovaleski), which is information that these parents knew, but disregarded. However, if the vaccination requirement law is put into place, chickenpox outbreaks would be easily avoided because all the unvaccinated children would not be attending a school where they could put their fellow classmates in harm’s way. Due to the fact that unvaccinated children not only put themselves at risk, but other children as well, proves just how crucial this law adoption is for schools. With the new law requiring all children to receive vaccines, rather than outbreaks occurring in schools, there will be herd immunity. Herd immunity refers to when a large group of vaccinated people come into contact with an infectious person; however, due to the fact that the majority of the people in the group are protected from the disease, the infected person will have Adi cult time passing the disease along (Loving). A perfect example of herd immunity occurred in Richardson, Texas. In January of 2016, an Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in June of 2015, which proves that although it will be difficult to make this new policy nationwide, it is possible (“California State Vaccine Requirements). The California bill does not allow any sort of exemption to vaccinations. If a parent wants their child to go to school, that child must be vaccinated”the religion and beliefs of the parents will no longer provide any sort of exemption. If a parent still chooses to not vaccinate their children, their only options are to homeschool their children, or move to another state. This restriction of the first amendment is not only ethical, but necessary because deciding not to get vaccinated does not solely a?¬?ect said individual, butthe population around the individual. The premise of the bill is to make it entirely illegal to send unvaccinated children to schools, which is exactly what the new law will do but nationwide.

 

The benefits of vaccinations include potentially saving a child’s life in a safe and e?¬?ective manner so requiring all people who attend schools to be vaccinated is clearly beneficial to all. According to the article Immunize for Good by Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, a website that delves into the benefits and risks of vaccines, vaccines are beneficial because they not only protect the person vaccinated, but the people in the surrounding area, as well. Vaccines are also the most cost efficient way to prevent infectious diseases because it is significantly less expensive to prevent a disease in comparison to how much money it costs to treat an infected group of people (“Health and Medicine Division”). It is concluded that there is no evidence proving that the proper vaccine schedule recommended for children is dangerous, and vaccines are the most cost efficient way to prevent diseases, so it is in the public’s best intentions to receive vaccines (Immunize for Good).

Despite all evidence pointing to the safety and benefits of vaccines, there are two main reasons that people are against vaccinations: religion and the false rumors of vaccinations causing autism in children. One of the main reasons parents choose not to vaccinate their children is because they believe that vaccinations are against their religion. In the present day, there is religious exemption to vaccinations, which allows people to not get vaccines because they believe it is against their religion. However, religious exemption is something that will no longer be available according to the new policy. There is some controversy over whether religious exemption is justicable or not for the sake of vaccines. For instance, many of the religions that are stereotypically known to be against vaccines actually state morals that show they are for and support the use of vaccines. For example, it is commonly known that some Catholics do not believe in the safety in vaccines; however, the Catholic Church actually states there would seem to be no proper grounds for refusing immunization against dangerous contagious diseases (“Religion and Vaccinationsa Quick Review).

This statement proves that the Catholic Church is not against vaccines, but it actually states that to not vaccinate would be immoral. Another example of a typically anti-vaccine religion is Hinduism. Those who practice Hinduism live their lives in a manner as to respect life, so, they ultimately believe in any technology, such as vaccines, that would help them live healthier lives. The four major divisions of Hinduism have not once mentioned a problem with vaccinations (Grabenstein). Judaism, another quite popular religion, also supports vaccines for similar reasons to Hinduism, they believe that anything that will help enhance life is something to be supported. Also, Judaism support and focuses on the community rather than just one person when it comes to the prevention of disease, which is quite similar to the purpose of vaccines to protect the community. Along with the religions mentioned, there are many 

Hulk 8 more such as the Amish, and Islam (Grabenstein), who do in fact support vaccines mainly because the religions understand that vaccines help people live longer and healthier.The second reason that some people are against vaccines is the cause of the false rumor created by Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield claimed to have found scientific evidence that proved that vaccines led to autism in children. It was later concluded that Wakefield found no evidence, rather, he lied and created false information to make it seem as though autism stemmed from vaccines (Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism). Although the scientific consensus is against Wakefield’s research on vaccines, and he had his medical license taken away, people still believe that vaccines can cause autism. These people are victims of the psychological term, conformation bias. The confirmation bias means that the people want so badly to believe that vaccines are not safe, that any mention of their negative side effects, even if these side effects are proven to be incorrect, still stick in their minds. (Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism). Fortunately, many studies prove that autism does not come from vaccines. For example, one study measured the number of antigens, which are ingredients in vaccines that make the people’s immune system create disease-fighting antibodies, from vaccines.

Then, they looked at the results after the vaccines had been used, which proved that the total amount of antigen after receiving vaccines was the exact same for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the children without the disorder (“Study Linking Vaccine to Autism Is Called Fraud). Another claim is that the ingredient in earlier vaccines, thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, causes autism. However, no current vaccines contain thimerosal”not because it causes autism, because it did not”but solely as a precaution (“Study Linking Vaccine to Autism Is Called Fraud”). Therefore, all rumors and incorrect information claiming vaccines give children autism have been refuted, meaning there is no reason to not vaccinate children in fear of autism.

As for the drawbacks of the policy plan, realistically speaking it is going to be difficult to induce such a big change in the United States because the people know they have freedom of choice. However, they need to realize that they do have a choice with this new law: either get their children vaccinated or have their children be homeschooled. The religious exemptions and the belief in autism exemptions have both been proven to be incorrect, so the people of the United States need to understand and realize that the only truly safe decision to make is to vaccinate children. As a conclusion, vaccines are safe, cost-efficient, and the easiest way to avoid disease outbreak. This new law that requires all students who wish to attend school be vaccinated is not only realistic, but a necessity to all of America. The outbreaks of infectious diseases that occur in schools every single year will decrease significantly with the implementation of the new law. With the enforcement of a new policy that requires all students to have vaccines, lives will be saved. In order to protect the people of the United States, vaccines are an absolute necessity.   

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Necessity Of Vaccines. (2019, Jul 29). Retrieved August 17, 2022 , from
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