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Research About Vaccinations

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The first mention of a vaccination dates back to the year 1796. A man named Edward Jenner inoculated a thirteen-year-old boy with cowpox causing him to be immune to smallpox. A couple years later he tested it again with milkmaids who had previously caught cowpox; when he inoculated them with cowpox it protected them against smallpox (Riedel). Later on in history, as more and more vaccinations were developed, side effects were starting to become noticed. In the late twentieth century the measles vaccination was linked with causing autism. However, according to the World Health Organization, “The 1998 study which raised concerns about a possible link between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism was later found to be seriously flawed and fraudulent” (World Health Organization).            Even though vaccinations may cause some side effects, there are still going to be effects if the disease is spread. It is estimated that about fifty-five to sixty percent of the population who gets vaccinated are protected from that disease. With that statistic in mind one can conclude if no one gets vaccinated then there would be a higher chance for that disease to spread. In the beginning of 2018, France started a mandatory policy for children to receive vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, and polio and they strongly recommend to get vaccinated for are hepatitis and whooping cough. This is because the French prime Minister, Édouard Phillippe, finds it “unacceptable” that children are ‘still dying of measles’ in the country where some of the earliest vaccinations were pioneered (Forster). In France, a survey’s result showed that ‘three out of ten people don’t trust vaccinations, but fifty-two percent feel that the benefits are better than the risks’ (Forster). In order to get a better understanding whether vaccinations should be mandatory an overview of both arguments need to be addressed.             On one hand, it is argued that vaccinations should not be mandatory because people should be able to choose whether or not their child should be vaccinated. In the United States everyone is a free individual who have the right whether or not they should get vaccinated but their children can’t go to a public or private school without having some mandatory vaccinations. Ron Paul, MD, a former US Representative (R-TX), in an article stated that, ‘personal medical decisions should not be made by government and that freedom over one’s physical person is the most basic freedom of all, and people in a free society should be sovereign over their own bodies’ (Should Any Vaccines Be Required For Children). Individuals should know what is best for them and have reasons as to why receiving vaccinations would not be beneficial.                 One reason is that with mandatory vaccinations there is a risk that an individual’s belief or religion may be violated The First Amendment of the US Constitution states, “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (US Constitution). Another reason is that parents do not want their children to get a possible side effect or reaction. According to the CDC, all vaccines carry a risk of a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in about one per million children (CDC). This side effect and others, such as bowel blockage, long-term seizures, coma, lowered consciousness, and permanent brain damage could occur in about one out of twenty thousand babies (CDC); this can cause parents to decide that it would be more beneficial if their child opted not to receive the vaccination.                 Moreover, it is argued that because diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, polio, rubella, and mumps are rare in the United States receiving the vaccination would be a pointless decision. The CDC reported no cases from diphtheria between 2003 and 2011 in the United States (CDC). With tetanus there were fewer than fifty-one cases reported between 1994 and 2011 and Polio has been declared eradicated since 1979 (CDC). There have been fewer than twenty-one deaths yearly from rubella since 1971 and fewer than twenty-five deaths yearly from mumps since 1968 (CDC). With these examples, many argue that there is no reason to vaccinate against these diseases due to there are a low number of cases with them now.             One country that does not have mandatory vaccinations is Canada. Even though vaccinations are not mandatory many parents do because a lot of the schools require some vaccinations. Schools and local clinics will have vaccinations available and for people who cannot afford them they have some of them for free or for more reasonable prices (Aunindita). Since schools and local clinics have vaccinations available Canada does not have many outbreaks of easily preventable diseases or conditions (Aunindita). Not having mandatory vaccinations will let the family decide whether or not they want the vaccination and the family would not be forced into getting them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was established in 1946 and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a credible source because it is a federal agency that conducts and supports health promotion, prevention, and preparedness activities in the United States, with the goal of improving overall public health (TechTarget). The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), manages the CDC. The HHS is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government with the goal of protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human service. Overall, the CDC source is very credible due to its surveillance monitors program that prevents disease outbreaks, implement of disease prevention strategies, maintain national health statistics, and guards against international disease transmission (CDC). They are also credible since the CDC shows little bias by presenting both the benefits and detriments of vaccinations were discussed.               On the other hand, it is argued that vaccinations should be mandatory because many diseases can spread very easily, vaccinations are safe and effective, and it’s important to start the childhood immunization early so children are protected against everything. Polio and Diphtheria may not be common in the United States but to contrast measles is rare in the United States because of vaccination where it is still common around the world. Unvaccinated travelers who are infected while abroad can easily bring the diseases to the United States (CDC). Therefore the argument that due to a disease being uncommon in one country means that the population does not need to get vaccinations is not valid because it can be easily spread between countries (by travelers).              In addition, vaccinations are safe and effective, according to the U.S. the HHS, and the CDC state that, ‘Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.’ In the late twentieth century the measles   vaccination was linked with causing autism but according to the World Health Organization, “The 1998 study which raised concerns about a possible link between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism was later found to be seriously flawed and fraudulent.” When an article about the measles vaccines causing autism was released it caused panic to spread around the world, even when the World Health Organization denied and refuted the statement.            Also, it is important to start the childhood immunization process early so children are protected against many deadly diseases early on in life. The CDC sets the U.S. childhood immunization schedule based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), further approves this schedule (CDC). Having five medical organizations approve a schedule for specific vaccinations a child needs shows credibility because these organizations are knowledgeable and their main objective is to keep people safe. Having all the vaccinations that are on a child’s vaccination schedule makes them immune to the possible diseases while having no vaccinations lets your child become exposed to diseases. One country that does not have mandatory vaccinations is Australia but the government gives their citizens financial incentives for complying and the children are not allowed to attend school (How do you know about vaccination?). For parents who did not vaccinate their children and admit them in school will get fined up to 30,000 Australian dollars (Baidawi). Susan Close, South Australia’s minister for education and child development stated, “The under-immunization in some communities is of sufficient concern that we do need to raise the bar on what we require parents to do” (Baidawi). Instead of Australia making vaccinations mandatory, the government decided to give their citizens financial incentives for complying. From December 2015 to March 2017 the immunization rate for 1-year-olds increased around 1% to 93.6%. However, about 134,372 children who still weren’t caught up in their vaccinations their government benefits were reduced (Baidawi). These financial incentives helped encourage families to get vaccinated.             The HHS is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government with the mission to enhance and protect the health and well being of all Americans. They carry out their mission by providing an effective health and human services and they help provide advances in medicine, public health, and social services (HHS). The ACIP is a group of medical and public health experts that develop recommendations on how to use vaccines to control diseases in the United States (CDC). The AAFP works with the CDC and the ACIP to create the schedule that is safe for children. They represent more than one hundred fifteen thousand nine hundred family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students (AAFP). These reasons make these sources very credible as well as unbiased due to relying solely on the use of facts and statistics.                 To conclude, after an overview of the two perspectives have been addressed vaccinations should be mandatory for all children. This is because many diseases can spread very easily, vaccinations are safe and effective, and it is important to start the childhood immunization early so children are protected against everything. The HHS and the CDC stated, ‘Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals (HHS and CDC).  The vaccines and the schedule to get certain vaccinations for your child are carefully reviewed by five organizations: the CDC, HHS, ACIP, AAFP, and AAP. With five organizations reviewing the schedules and vaccines insures that the children will be safe.              However, vaccines can have some fatal side effects, and some diseases that vaccines targeted have mostly disappeared. But to refute this, the CDC, HHS, ACIP, AAFP, and AAP review the vaccines and test them to make sure the vaccine is safe and even though some vaccines may cause some discomfort this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent (CDC and HHS). Moreover, the diseases that have mostly disappeared can still be spread around by unvaccinated travelers who are travelling abroad (CDC). Even if a country has had no cases of a disease so they stop vaccinating; tourists can easily spread that disease and now the citizens have no protection against it.              Overall, parents should consider that vaccines are safe and effective and they should be mandatory to insure every child is protected from the spreading diseases. Also having mandatory vaccines protects the children who cannot receive the vaccine, from medical reasons, etc., because then no one can spread the disease to those children and so everyone is protected. Don’t think that your child is going to be protected from everything harmful without getting vaccinated because some diseases are stronger than your immune system.             Further research that I would conduct would be to see how many cases of measles and other diseases that are not common anymore appear around the world. This would help to see if certain vaccinations are necessary anymore. Also I would research how out of everyone in the world how many have had a major side effect that effected their life from vaccinations. With this research then the vaccinations that are supposedly causing life-threatening effects could be tested more and modified.

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