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Vaccines Are Not Required For The Overall Health Of Society

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World Health Organisation (2008) published an article that allegedly suggests that “Vaccination greatly reduces disease, disability, death and inequity worldwide.” This article gives a detailed insight into the effects, eradication and control vaccine has on diseases, hence shining a positive light on vaccination to showcase the benefits of it on health, society and life expectancy.

With thorough research, a broad research question was formed from the initial claim: “Does the use of vaccine reduce the amount of disease in society?” This question was further refined to focus on a specific disease to show the explicit effect of vaccines. The research gathered to refine the question is presented below.

“Vaccination has greatly reduced the burden of infectious diseases.” (WHO 2008). Public attention is majorly turned towards vaccine safety rather than vaccine effect, however, WHO has proved that vaccines are safer than therapeutic medicine. Consequently, vaccination supposedly saved more lives than any other intervention, hence immunisation programs has drastically decreased mortality rates worldwide caused by diseases. High rates of immunisation are vital to the population to guard them from preventable diseases. “95% of the population needs to be vaccinated to obtain herd immunity against a disease.” Without vaccination, members are vulnerable towards preventable disease which may spread and infect throughout the population, especially young children and unborn babies. Also, vaccines aren’t 100% effective, therefore the population is at risk of obtaining diseases if the immunisation rates are low (McKell 2017).

Vaccination is the most effective medical defence introduced against diseases; it has eliminated a large amount of infectious diseases that once killed millions of people. A recent study concluded that today vaccines prevent 2.5 million deaths per year. Furthermore, vaccines now have potential to prevent not only communicable disease but also noncommunicable diseased such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders hence contributing hugely to the health of the society. Contagious diseases such as influenza, diphtheria, smallpox, polio and tuberculosis were once the leading cause of death, but vaccines have managed to eradicate to keep them under control (Rino Rappulio 2014).

Dr Lipsitch from Harvard School of Public Health states, “Infectious disease eradication is possible, even when a disease such as measles, polio or Hib hasn’t been completely wiped out but immunisations can reduce disease transmission, so that epidemics become less frequent.” (NIH 2011).

Thus, research above help derive towards the specific research question: “Does vaccinating people with polio vaccine reduce the prevalence of the disease?”


Infectious diseases are caused by pathogens such as: bacteria, virus, fungi, parasite, protists and prions. They can be transmitted via person to person, insects, animals or exposure to contaminated food and water. Disease can cause nausea, sickness, vomiting or even death in severe cases (Mayo Clinic 2017).

Vaccination is a way to effectively immunise people against life threatening diseases such as chickenpox, measles and polio. Vaccines consist of a modified version of disease-causing pathogen, knowns as antigen, they are given via injection or orally. Vaccine guards the host from diseases by introducing a weak or dead pathogen into the body. Immune system responds to the weak pathogens as if they are fully fledged, thus producing antibodies to destroy it. The immune system is made of cells and chemical called antibodies which fight infection, hence building immunity naturally or through vaccines. An immune response will take approximately 7-21 day. Vaccine is the most effective way to prevent deadly diseases, since the introduction of vaccine, mortality rates have been dropping (Better Health 2018).

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Poliomyelitis (polio) is a life-threatening disease caused by a virus, spread via contact of contaminated food, water, faeces and throat secretions of infected person. There are 3 types of Polio virus Type 1,2 and 3. Incubation period is for 6-20 days, however, many infected people with polio don’t experience any symptoms but in mild polio cases symptoms of Polio include: nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle pain (Health New York 2014). In severe cases the outcome of polio can result in death, brain damage or paralysis. 2% of polio cases result in death. Half of the survivors will have permanent paralysis. (Better Health 2018)

Polio Vaccines can be given orally or via needle. There are proteins in your body that identify poliovirus as a foreign object, hence signalling the body to eliminate it via antibodies or cells called macrophages (Sophie Ochmann 2017). Polio immunisation is recommended for: children aged 2-6 months, adults who haven’t been vaccinated, travellers, health care/laboratory workers and refugees. People that are eligible can get free polio immunisation under the National Immunisation Program. It has been found that the introduction of polio vaccine has succeeded in controlling polio and nearly eradicating it (Health Gov 2018).


The epidemic disease of Polio was first detected in Italy after the first World war. Figure 1 shows 10 000 notified case of polio in Italy from 1925-2000. According to Figure 1, polio slowly started increasing at 1925, but it wasn’t until 1935-1940 where a big spike in the numbers occurred. During these times, hygiene and sanitation was really poor which didn’t help control the disease (Sci Elo 2012). Figure one shows that in 1950, polio in Italy was continuously escalating. The epidemic peaked again on 1953, after that, there was a decrease in the number of cases from 1954-55, but the numbers started to increase gain from 1956. According to the graph above, the 1958 polio cases appear to be the most serious amount experienced in Italy. 8,394 cases were reported with a lethality rate of 14%. These number were the highest since the beginning of the polio cases registration in 1925(Sci Elo 2012). According to the graph, after 1958, the number of cases has steadily decreased and by 1969, polio was completely eradicated from Italy. These figures clearly indicate that polio vaccine has had a huge impact on the disease. Before the mass vaccination, it can be seen the number of cases was on the rise and the mortality rates continued to rise as well. One the vaccine was introduced, the number of cases steadily escalated down and by 2000, polio was fully eradicated from Italy, hence showing a clear relationship between vaccine and the prevalence of polio. It shows that vaccine play a key role in maintain the health of society. From this evidence, it can be concluded that vaccine plays a key role in controlling the epidemic, hence supports the research question and proves the claim wrong. Figure 2

Figure2 represents a similar trend to figure 1, but the dates of the increase differ due to it being in different parts of the world. Figure2 starts with varied spikes of the disease while steadily increasing overtime. The first biggest spike in the number of paralytic case and death both occurred in 1916, with 27 363 cases and 7130 polio deaths. It can be seen that this was the highest amount of death for the whole century. The biggest number of paralytic cases peaked at 1952 with 57 879 cases and 3145 deaths (Sophie Ochmann 2017). Upon the introduction of polio vaccine in 1952, the numbers started to drop showing a reduction in the amount of cases and deaths. By the year 2010, polio was completely eradicated from US. A trend in the death cases can also be seen. According to the graph above there were more paralytically cases then there were death cases. The death rates seemed to peak nearly every time the paralytic cases peaked, but otherwise there were no big increase. From this graph, it can be derived that if a person contracts polio, there is higher chance of being paralysed than dying. This graph clearly supports that polio vaccine helped reduce the prevalence of the disease by lowering and eradicating it. Before vaccination, paralytic cases and mortality rates were increasing but post vaccination, both numbers plunged down, showing the positive effect of polio vaccine (Max Roser 2018). Not only does the graph supports the importance of polio vaccines but it also urges the importance of it in [image: ]society, without polio vaccine, polio would’ve still been present in US (Max Roser 2018).

Figure3 is a visual representation of the success polio vaccine has brought upon the world and it correlates to figure4 showing the stages of pre and post vaccine activities in Australia. According to figure 4, before vaccination was introduced, it followed similar trend as the other graphs. Polio increased rapidly with peaks every now and then and it wasn’t until the introduction of vaccine that the prevalence of it was reduced. Figure3 shows the world status of polio from 1988 and 2017 (Joseph Hall 2018). From figure4, it is clear that Australia has nearly eradicated polio by 1988, which is visually supported in figure3. Figure3 shows that most of the world was affected by polio in 1988(AIHW 2018). Whereas in 2017, polio was eradicated by most countries expect Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, but in theses country, the prevalence has been reduced (Farrah Khan 2018). Pre-vaccination, the number of countries affected was 125 and post vaccination, the number of countries affected was only 3. All the graphs show a similar trend hence indicating he effectiveness of polio vaccine. These evidences clearly show the relevance of vaccine in society and in the world. It suggests how important it is to receive polio vaccination, not only to protect yourselves, but to protect the people around you and to eradicate the deadly disease. The evidences above clearly show the effects of pre and post-polio vaccination and highlights the effects and importance of herd vaccination (AIHW 2018). Therefore, vaccines have played a vital role in the eradication of polio and helps with the prevalence of the disease, hence supporting the research question, and helps object the claim. All the evidence above has aided in proving the research question which assisted in objecting the claim.


For the validity of this investigation, a variety of different and reliable sources were used and analysed for the maximum accuracy of this investigation. All sources used were referenced and the authors used were either scientist who hold a PhD, professors or other credible writers recognised as profound authors, hence all the evidence used are trustworthy, peer reviewed or from a government run website. Strong arguments were used through out to back up justification and to prove research question. This investigation has fully, thoroughly proved the research question with use of accurate data and graphs. The claim was derived to a broad research question, then further research was done by collecting data and information from credible sources which lead towards the specific research question, therefore, the method to come to that research question was highly accurate.

There were a few limitations present within the investigation. One was that some articles used were 5 years or older but contained very relevant and accurate information which was used in the investigation. Another limitation was that the claim was derived to a specific research question which consisted investigating the effects of only polio vaccine and not any other vaccines, therefore, the claim couldn’t be entirely proven wrong, but it was partially proven. When reading this in investigation, this point needs to be taken to consideration. No tables were used in the evidence section, as there were no appropriate ones found, this may affect the variety of the data collected.

Therefore, future recommendations are: to fully prove the claim, more extensive and wider research needs to be conducted as polio only cover a small sector of the whole claim, therefore it can’t be fully proved. Also, newer research and data should be used in future for validity of investigation. Furthermore, at least one table should be used for the extensive variety of data collection.


In conclusion, the claim “Vaccines are not required for the overall health of society,” has been disapproved partially because the research question only focuses on polio vaccines, therefore it couldn’t be fully disapproved. From this investigation, it is clear that vaccinating people with polio vaccine helps reduce prevalence of the disease hence proving the research question. The research shows that it is vital for people to get vaccinated for the health of the society by preventing and eradicating the diseases such as polio, but as suggested in evaluation, more research needs to be conducted to see if vaccines are necessary for the overall health of society, because the investigation only covers a small sector of the claim, thus the claim cannot be fully proved.


  1. (2008). WHO | Vaccination greatly reduces disease, disability, death and inequity worldwide. [online] Available at: [Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
  2. McKell Institute. (2017). Immunising Australia: Improving Australia's Vaccination Rates - McKell Institute. [online] Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
  3. Rino Rappulio (2014). NCBI | Vaccines, new opportunities for a new society [online] Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
  4. NIH News in Health. (2011). Community Immunity. [online] Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
  5. Mayo Clinic. (2017). Infectious diseases - Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
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  7. (2014). Poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis, polio). [online] Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
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  11. Ochmann, S. and Roser, M. (2017). Polio. [online] Our World in Data. Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
  12. Roser, M. (2018). Eradication of Diseases. [online] Our World in Data. Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
  13. AIHW. (2018). [online] Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
  14. Hall, J. (2018). The world is zeroing in on the end of polio — by stopping people at bus stops, airports and train stations | The Star. [online] Available at:[Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
  15. Farrah Khan. (2018). Progress Toward Polio Eradication — Worldwide, January 2016–March 2018 [online] PMC. Available at: [Accessed 25 Aug. 2019].
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Vaccines Are Not Required For The Overall Health Of Society. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 26, 2024, from
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