A large controversial topic that is discussed today is the topic of vaccinating children. While many people believe that having their child undergo so many vaccines could be dangerous, others believe that vaccinating children should be mandatory. So why do people feel that vaccines are so important?
First off, it is important to note that anyone who is not vaccinated is vulnerable to diseases. Every illness has a level at which vaccine coverage must be at in order to prevent the disease from spreading. For example, over 90% of a population must be vaccinated in order to have superlative control over Measles (Hendrix, et al. 274). Measles is an acute illness that causes skin rashes, high fevers, and spots inside the facial cheeks (Mayo Clinic Staff par. 2). Many people are worried about the spread of measles because there was an large outbreak in 2014. In total, there were 383 cases, with a majority of the cases taking place at Amish communities in Ohio (“Measles” par. 4). Although Measles appears to be a big deal with small outbreaks every year, measles is not the only disease that worries people. Other diseases that are considered dangerous and worrisome include: diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, mumps, influenza, whopping cough, and many more (“Understand” 3-7). The experts that study this issue, such as researchers, scientists, and doctors, claim that their research shows “the benefits outweigh the risks” when it comes to getting vaccinated. They feel strongly that because there has been a dramatic decrease in disease outbreaks, the vaccines are worth getting (Glanz, et al. 2). In 1963, before there was a vaccine for measles, doctors say there were approximately five million cases reported. Meanwhile in 2013, there were only 187 cases. The cases that were reported came from almost all unvaccinated patients (“What” par. 2,6). Of course it is impossible for vaccines to cover people 100%, but they do tend to produce immunity about 90% of the time (“Vaccines” par. 1).
With background knowledge on different kinds of diseases, disease outbreaks, and the benefits of being vaccinated vs. the benefits of not, one can ask him/herself if it is worth it to be vaccinated.
Glanz, Jason M., et al. “Addressing Parental Vaccine Concerns: Engagement, Balance, and Timing.” Plos Biology, vol. 13, no. 8, 07 Aug. 2015, pp. 1-8. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002227.
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.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Measles.” Mayo Clinic. MFMER, 24 May 2014. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
“Measles Cases and Outbreaks.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 Mar. 2017. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
“Understand The Disease.” Snohomish Health District. Snohomish Health District, 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
“What Is Measles History in America – National Vaccine Information Center.” National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). National Vaccine Information Center, 2017. Web. 09 Mar. 2017.