Death by Shot: Argumentative Essay on Vaccines

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Chickenpox, measles, mumps, hepatitis A/B, polio, shingles, influenza, smallpox, whooping cough, etc. Vaccines are given to help strengthen the body’s immune system which helps fight off diseases or sicknesses that were fatal in the past. Vaccines have recently been said to cause autism, however, without the help of vaccines, fatal diseases would quickly spread and allows human life expectancy to increase. Do you support the vaccination of children? Do you believe that vaccines are helpful or harmful? Why have some fatal diseases become virtually eliminated within the United States? Have you been vaccinated? Have the vaccinations harmed you in any way?

Where did vaccinations come about? In 1877, Louis Pasteur developed the Germ Theory of Disease; the theory that germs cause disease (Vaccine Timeline). According to the Vaccine Timeline, in 1885, Louis Pasteur used the first rabies vaccine in humans. In 1908, the rise of health departments was formed within the United States. In 1914, Typhoid and Rabies vaccinations were licensed within the United States (Vaccine Timeline). In 1930, according to the Vaccine Timeline, cell culture was invented to grow virus cells in order to help pave the way for viral vaccines. Since they used cell cultures to grow viruses, vaccinations have since become more prominent and vital to the overall health of the population. But why are vaccinations vital to the overall health of the population?

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First of all, vaccines are crucial to the overall health of the population and without them, the number of fatal epidemics would increase drastically due to the decline of the immune system's strength. Laws and policies are in place to help limit the spread of diseases. Vaccines are important, and very crucial, in helping universities and other institutions are able to fight

disease outbreaks. Risks of getting sick are greater for college students due to the colleges having their own vaccine requirement policies and students constantly interacting with each other. However, there are outbreaks within other schools and public places due to the recent decline in the number of children being vaccinated due to the potential damage they cause (Legal and Policy Responses, 2019).

Second, vaccines cause untreatable damage. Vaccines are considered “chemical cocktails” and cause permanent damage. However, healing from the damage is possible, it is rare and nearly impossible to do. But why do we vaccinate infants? Babies do not have the ability to produce antibodies until they are almost 6-12 months old (An Outline of Healing from Vaccine Damage, 2019). Without this ability, vaccines are useless and do no good. They cause mental disorders that affect thinking and everyday activities, thus making them harder and more time-consuming to complete than a person who was not damaged from vaccines.

Children do receive many vaccines by the time they are two years old (Offit, 2003). Before a baby is born, when they are inside the womb, they are free from bacteria and disease. After a baby is born, they are no longer protected from these diseases, they are introduced to new substances, bacteria, viruses, and a multitude of other things that they have not encountered before. From the moment they are born, according to Offit, bacteria begin to live on their skin which can outline their nose, throat, and intestines. Thus, giving babies vaccines before they are two years old, helps in the defense against the bacteria that began to crawl on

their skin from the moment they are born and helps their weak immune systems fight common diseases that were extremely fatal before vaccines came about.

Third, vaccines have been said to cause autism, but recent studies have proven that vaccines are safe for the overall health of the population and are not associated with autism (Maglione et al., 2014). There are some effects that vaccines cause but only in immunodeficient individuals, which is rare. Preventable disease outbreaks have recently occurred due to the parent refusal to have their child vaccinated. Vaccines are thought to be one of the greatest health achievements for the overall population health. The expected life expectancy has increased due to the number of outbreaks declining due to vaccines for common diseases that were once fatal. Without these vaccines, these diseases become fatal once again and can cause havoc on an unvaccinated population.

Are vaccines actually safe? It is true that vaccines do not cause negative side effects; everything has negative side effects, and everything has risks. But, do the benefits outweigh the risks? Bacteria are everywhere—viruses are everywhere. According to Offit, we are at risk of catching a disease every day. Without the help of vaccinations, common diseases would still be fatal to the public and spread easily throughout the population. Vaccinations help strengthen a person’s immune system in order to build antibodies as a defense mechanism against these diseases.

What if schools offered vaccine education? Would people be more willing, or not refuse, to give their children vaccines? Are there other reasons for vaccination refusal other than fear of irreversible damage or autism? According to Navin et al., parents often refuse to have

their children vaccinated due to their religious beliefs, beliefs that vaccines provide little to no benefit, and even concerns about the risks of damage from the vaccines. Would these parents be more willing to give their children vaccinations if they knew how vaccines worked within the human body? Are people aware of how beneficial vaccinations have been for the population?

Within this school year (2019-2020), there has been a measles outbreak. According to Blad, there were two hundred and six confirmed cases of measles throughout eleven states; many of these confirmed cases were due to children not being fully vaccinated, or not vaccinated at all. This proves that not vaccinating children can cause sudden, fast-spreading, disease outbreaks that could have been prevented with a simple vaccination. As a result of children not being vaccinated, when they get sick from these contagious diseases, they often have to miss school and fall very far behind other kids due to having to miss school for these illnesses that could have been prevented.

How many children were vaccinated recently? During the 2018-2019 school year, the number of kindergarteners vaccinated within the United States has been broken down by state in the table below (Seither et. al, 2019). According to Seither, each state has vaccination requirements in place to make sure that students are protected against diseases and sicknesses that are preventable against diseases. Most vaccines are a series of shots, such as the measles vaccine for example, that have a grace period between when the shots are given because they cannot be given at the same as the preceding part of the vaccination dose. There were some vaccine exemptions in this school year, which is due to the parent’s refusal to vaccinate their children. (Table Citation: Seither, 2019).

How many would fall ill or die due to preventable diseases such as polio, rubella, measles, diphtheria, etc. if vaccinations were not being used as a preventative measure? According to Offit, polio paralyzed 15,000 children before vaccines came around but due to vaccinations, there are no cases of polio. Vaccines decreased the number of birth defects due to Rubella from 20,000 to 5 cases per year (Offit, 2003). Vaccines have done much more than just lower these numbers for these two diseases; vaccines have decreased the number of death-related illnesses greatly due to prevention through vaccines, for many diseases (polio, measles, etc). Many countries still have some common diseases that have been eliminated in the United States, according to Offit, that travelers or immigrants can bring into the United States when coming into the country.

Have you ever heard someone say, “Vaccines cause the disease they are supposed to be preventing.”? This is a common misconception about vaccinations. According to Rikin, many people said that vaccines were not effective because the vaccination caused them to become sick with the illness they were trying to prevent, or they had unwanted outcomes from the vaccine. But why did these things happen when the vaccination was administered? Was the vaccine supposed to make them become sick?

How do vaccines within the body? Once a person has been introduced to a disease they have not encountered, the disease damages other cells within the body as the cells that are infected replicate. The body soon produces antibodies to fight off the disease and prevent the disease from coming back. Vaccines work in a similar way as the natural body’s process to prevent disease. According to Offit, when a vaccine is administered into the body, the infected cells that are injected into the skin do not replicate. Instead, the vaccine just introduces that disease to the child’s immune system and allows the body to produce antibodies to prevent the child from becoming ill when they come into contact with that disease (Offit, 2003).

What illnesses are children being vaccinated for? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at birth, a child is supposed to be vaccinated against Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a liver infection that can cause liver failure and cancer, as well as scarring of the liver itself as a result of swelling; this disease spreads through body fluids.

A child that is one to two months of age is required to have Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whopping Cough, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B, Polio, Pneumococcal, and Rotavirus (CDC, 2016). Diphtheria is an infection that coats the back of the throat, thus making it hard to breathe; this disease could result in heart failure, paralysis, and death. Tetanus is pain caused by the tightening of the muscles that take over the entire body. Tetanus could result in paralysis and make it difficult to swallow. Whooping Cough is a respiratory infection that makes it difficult to breathe due to severe coughing and a quick inhale of air. Haemophilus influenza Type B is a type of flu that could result in a number of other diseases such as pneumonia, blood infections, joint infection, an infection that coats the heart, extreme throat swelling, and death (CDC, 2016). Polio is an infection that causes total paralysis and is very deadly. Pneumococcal is an infection that can cause many types of infections, like an ear infection, for example. Rotavirus is a disease that could result in death due to dehydration through severe diarrhea and vomiting.

At six months, according to the CDC, a child is to be vaccinated against Influenza. However, a child between seven and eleven months old, are not required to receive vaccinations (CDC, 2016). At the age of twelve to twenty-three months, a child is required to be vaccinated for Chickenpox, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Hepatitis A and B. Chickenpox is a disease that causes an itchy rash of blisters. Measles, mumps, and rubella is a combination of diseases that result in a rash, as well are symptoms that are similar to the common cold.

After the age range of two to three years old, no vaccinations are required (CDC, 2016). Vaccines are used to help prevent these diseases, which often result in children being hospitalized or even dying. However, it is common for people to get a seasonal flu shot to prevent getting the flu during that flu season.

The recent rise in parent refusal of vaccinations has increased the number of disease outbreaks for common diseases. These common diseases may become an epidemic once again due to the number of vaccinations declining in the belief that they are not necessary or can cause irreversible damage. The benefits of vaccinations outweigh the negative effects of vaccinations. Without vaccines, today's population would not have the life expectancy the population has today. Children would more than likely die at a young age due to a common disease-related illness. When is the last time you heard of someone having measles? Chickenpox? Mumps? Whooping cough? Vaccines have virtually eliminated these diseases within the United States. However, people who travel to other countries can return to the United States carrying these diseases with them because they are not eliminated in other countries; these diseases have still claimed the lives of young children in other places because they do not have vaccinations.

Vaccines work within the body to introduce the disease to the human body in order for the body to produce antibodies for that disease. Without children being introduced to these diseases early on, their bodies would have to fight these diseases alone, and they would also be more susceptible to catching diseases because they would have a weaker immune system. Vaccines not only help children, but they also help elderly people as well. If there was a disease outbreak, elderly people would be susceptible to catching common diseases as well because their immune systems are also weaker due to age. An elderly person would more than likely have to be hospitalized in order to recover from these potentially fatal diseases.

In conclusion, vaccines are vital to the health of the population. Without them, common diseases that were fatal in the past would run fatally ramped throughout the population. Although, vaccines were said to cause health problems, such as autism, have been disproven and are highly recommended for everyone to have. Without these vaccines, children would easily become sick, and could even die, due to their weakened immune systems. They would also be carriers of disease and could pass these diseases along to their elderly relatives; this could result in the relative becoming just as sick as the child and possibly not recovering. Would you want to explain to your child that their grandparent is not coming home from the hospital because they gave a disease to their grandparent because you chose not to vaccinate them? Were you vaccinated? Were you harmed by vaccinations you received as a child?

Works Cited

  1. An Outline of Healing from Vaccine Damage -- ADHD, AUTISM, ’Auto-Immune Conditions’, Neurological Problems. (2019). Positive Health, (252), 24. Retrieved from,shib&db=ccm&AN=134382050&site=ehost-live
  2. Blad, E. (2019). When Measles Breaks Out, Unvaccinated Kids Send Schools Scrambling. Education Digest, 84(9), 4. Retrieved from,shib&db=f5h&AN=135704216&site=ehost-live
  3. Legal and Policy Responses to Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks. (2019). Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 47, 11–14.
  4. Maglione, M. A., Das, L., Raaen, L., Smith, A., Chari, R., Newberry, S., … Gidengil, C. (2014). Safety of vaccines used for routine immunization of US children: A systematic review. Pediatrics, 134(2), 325–337.
  5. Navin, M. C., Wasserman, J. A., Ahmad, M., & Bies, S. (2019). Vaccine Education, Reasons for Refusal, and Vaccination Behavior. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 56(3), 359–367.
  6. Offit, P. A., & Bell, L. M. (2003). Vaccines : What You Should Know (Vol. 3rd ed). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. [US]. Retrieved from,shib&db=nlebk&AN=85544&site=ehost-live
  7. Recommended Vaccines by Age. (2016, November 22). Retrieved November 19, 2019, from
  8. Rikin, S., Scott, V., Shea, S., LaRussa, P., & Stockwell, M. S. (2018). Influenza Vaccination Beliefs and Practices in Elderly Primary Care Patients. Journal of Community Health, 43(1), 201–206.
  9. Seither, R., Loretan, C., Driv, K., Mellerson, J. L., Knighton, C. L., Black, C. L., & Driver, K. (2019). Vaccination Coverage with Selected Vaccines and Exemption Rates Among Children in Kindergarten - United States, 2018-19 School Year. MMWR: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 68(41), 905–912.
  10. Vaccine Timeline. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2019, from
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