Childhood Vaccination Should Be Mandatory

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction to the Importance of Childhood Vaccination
  2. The Life-Saving Impact of Vaccines on Children's Health
  3. Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy: Common Concerns and Misconceptions
  4. Debunking the Autism-Vaccine Myth: Scientific Evidence
  5. The Collective Benefit of Mandatory Childhood Vaccination

Introduction to the Importance of Childhood Vaccination

Vaccination was one of the greatest health inventions of the 20th century. Vaccines have saved millions of lives for more than 50 years. Most childhood vaccines are 90% to 99% effective in preventing disease (Vaccine Safety). The problem here is that some people are concerned about how safe vaccines are and doubt that they are effective therefore do not vaccinate their children. The main concern parents have is the false rumors that autism is linked to vaccines. The truth here is that vaccines have no relation to autism. Vaccines help prevent your child from contracting any horrible diseases and contains the disease so it does not spread to others. When your child is born, his or her immune system is not fully developed. Having a healthy immune system is a crucial part of having a healthy body, especially as a child. Vaccines slim your child’s risk of disease and reduce the risk of your child passing on a disease you may not know they have to other children by working with there body to develop immunity to many diseases. I'll be using many articles from both sides of this argument to prove that vaccines should be mandatory among school-aged children.

The Life-Saving Impact of Vaccines on Children's Health

Parents want to do everything in their power to make sure they raise healthy children and protect them from whatever health problems they can. Vaccination is a great way to do that. For more evidence to back up my claim the vaccinations should be mandatory throughout school aged children, here is a story of an unimmunized infant who came down with whooping cough and has passed. His father explains how it went down, “We had suspected that our newborn son, Colin, was exposed to pertussis. He never showed signs. After numerous respiratory tests, spinal tests, and chest x-rays, he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Over the following 24 hours Colin's breathing became more and more labored. As his condition grew worse. Colin was intubated and transported to the local Children's Hospital where he was put on life support. Colin was our fourth child, and we never even realized he could contract pertussis and didn't understand its dangers. He was born a healthy, beautiful baby. Colin died at seven weeks of age. We didn't know about pertussis until it was too late. We encourage everyone to learn all they can about this disease; how it affects adolescents, adults, and especially unimmunized infants and young children”(Importance of Vaccines).

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Vaccines are a great way to stay away from strands of diseases that may be fatal and can keep your family out of a horrible situation like Colins. To keep children away from things like death from something that could have been prevented early on, getting your children vaccinated is a great solution. The facts will prove it all. According to a United Nations Foundation organization, vaccines have saved 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year, which equates to roughly 285 children saved every hour. The Centers for Disease Control estimated that childhood immunization prevented about 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations, and 936,000 early deaths of children born between 1994 and 2018 (Pros & Cons). Although all of these facts and numbers are high, some still have reasons why they will not vaccinate their children. A good way of looking at it is if you protect your child's generation it will protect all the generations that come after.

Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy: Common Concerns and Misconceptions

Vaccine hesitancy is a new term used in research over the past couple of years to describe anyone who is undecided about vaccinations or who chooses to postpone or refuse immunizations. There are a few reasons that parents decide not to vaccinate. Religious reasons are one of the most common reasons parents choose to have their child not immunized. Another common reason that parents have for opting out of vaccinating their children is personal or philosophical reasons. A third and potentially the biggest reason parents have for refusing vaccinations for their children are concerns about the safety of vaccines. The basic concern for safety is parents think the vaccine will cause their child to contract the disease, but this is false. Before a vaccine is given to anyone, the Food and Drug Association goes through extensive lab testing of the vaccine that can last for many years to make sure it is safe and efficient. After the lab it can take several more years before the studies are over and the vaccine is licensed and ready to give to patients (Making the Vaccine Decision).

Debunking the Autism-Vaccine Myth: Scientific Evidence

On the other hand there is a much bigger and more severe safety concern parents tend to have. Parents main concern is the result of autism from the vaccine. Many families do not understand that there have been studies done to prove that autism has no connections to the immunizations. For example, an analysis of more than 10 studies consisting of 1.2 million children proves that vaccines do not cause autism. If this study has shown anything it has shown that vaccines have been connected to the decreasing risk that children would develop autism (New Meta-Analysis). A lot of these concerns are based on information, sometimes false, these parents have read in the media or heard from friends. Parents need to do their research before they jump to conclusions or misconceive vaccines, all these parents need is a little education. As a doctor, taking time with patients, sitting them down and educating them on this topic could result in an improvement in terms of the views they have on vaccinations.

Common misconceptions parents have on vaccines that are false and the answers experts have come up with; Number one, “vaccines are ridden with toxic chemicals that can harm children.” The “toxic chemical” that they are referring to is thimerosal. The chemical that is being referenced does have mercury in it but has since been removed from all regularly scheduled vaccines and only is in the seasonal flu shot. Number two, “receiving too many vaccines at once can override the child's immune system.” Babies immune systems are strong enough to fight of the day to day viruses because the vaccines contain deactivated viruses in their ingredients. Therefore when the child is immunized their immune system just gets stronger. Lastly, “drug companies just do it to make a profit.” In 2013 estimated global revenues for vaccine was around 24 million dollars which only accounts for 2-3% of all pharmaceutical markets (The Science Facts). There are an array of other concerns that parents have against vaccines but most of them fall under the category of autism. Experts have listened to these worries and have come up with some explanations for them. First off vaccines do not cause autism. Even though there is much controversy over this topic, researchers have not found a connection between autism and childhood vaccines (Tough Questions, Straight Answers).

Even after the studies, after all the research and all the hard work the scientists and experts have put into this argument proving that vaccines have nothing to do with autism people still believe that it is false. This may be one of the reasons the parents who choose not to vaccinate do what they do. Here is a rare story of a 9 year old girl named Hannah Poling. “When she was 19 months old daughter of Jon and Terry Poling had Hannah vaccinated with five vaccines including diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b and varicella. At this time, Hannah was a playful, talkative, outgoing little girl. Two days later, she was lethargic and irritable. Ten days after vaccination, she developed a rash that would go along with vaccine-induced varicella. Months later, Hannah was diagnosed with encephalopathy caused by a mitochondrial enzyme deficiency. Hannah's signs include problems with language, communication, and behavior, all the features of autism spectrum disorder. They sued the Department of Health and Human Services for compensation under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and won”(Offit, Paul). This article is one of very few. There was a study done in 1998 that said that the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine was known to cause autism (Is There a Connection Between Vaccines and Autism?). Although this was proven wrong by many scientists and the study has been taken down because it was false.

The Collective Benefit of Mandatory Childhood Vaccination

Vaccines should be mandatory among school aged children. Putting aside all of religious and philosophical reasons why parents opt out of having their children vaccinated there is no other valid reason they should not be vaccinating their children. Vaccinations are super beneficial in so many ways that I do not know why they would not just vaccinate in the first place. They help the spread of disease. If you think that not immunizing your child will only affect them, that's false. Diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines are easily spread in various ways if they are not treated beforehand. Most importantly that prevent fatal diseases that could result in death. They have saved many children from being hospitalized and or dying. Why would you not want to protect your child from that? If you are a parent and are debating whether or not to immunize your children make sure when you decide it is solely your decision. Too many parents are listening to false statements from friends or family that they believe are real and pass along. If you are not sure about something or have questions ask your pediatrician, they will surely be glad to sit you down and educate you on vaccines. Lastly but probably the most important topic you read about above is autism and the misconceptions that come with it. Again if you are unsure of anything you can always ask your doctor. This is a little bit easier though because there are so many studies out there done by experienced experts that are completely valid and will answer many of your questions. So to wrap it all up if you are a parent and are undecided about vaccinating your children think about if there are more pros than cons.

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Childhood Vaccination Should Be Mandatory. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
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