October 10, 2015
Should parents be required to vaccinate their children?
Back in the 1990’s, people started becoming worried after many years about the mercury in the vaccines their kids were receiving. Then, in 1996, a former British surgeon and medical researcher, Dr. Andrew Wakefield put out a now disproved study linking the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine to autism and bowel disease (Ferric C. Fang). Before his study was disproved, it was a major argument for anti vaxers to cite. The investigation into his study began in 2004 and it wasn’t until 2010 that it was disproved and withdrawn. In that time, many people with autistic children ...view middle of the document...
These people are big believers in herd immunity, which is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease, that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection. Providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune. The believers of herd immunity say the more people in a community who are immune, the smaller the probability that those who are not immune will come into contact with an infectious individual.
On the other end of the spectrum are the people who believe everyone should have to be vaccinated. These people tend to point to the benefits of vaccines when arguing for this position. They want parents to know that because of advances in medical science, children can be protected against more diseases than ever before. Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction– primarily due to safe and effective vaccines. For example, polio was one of the great examples of vaccines eliminating a crippling disease in the United States. Polio was once America’s most-feared disease, but today thanks to vaccinations, there are no reports of polio in the United States. Studies have shown that vaccination is very safe and effective. Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals. Vaccines will involve some minimal discomfort, and prevent the trauma of the diseases these vaccines protect people from. Serious side effects following vaccinations are very rare. The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children (Vaccines.gov). People need to understand diseases like whooping cough and measles, which had been all but wiped out in this country, are making a comeback. In 2014, 668 people across 27 states, caught measles in the U.S., the most in more than two decades, according to the CDC. (CDC)
In-between the two sides are the people who say each parent should make their choice on vaccines and either not vaccinate completely or do partial vaccinations. With the growing mistrust of vaccinations in our country, more and more parents are saying no to vaccines. Some are refusing all vaccines altogether, while others are only skipping certain vaccines. Illnesses that are very rare right now, that most parents don’t have to fear, could escalate and could start killing babies left and right if fewer and...