By: Amy W.

Why People Should Be Required to Get Vaccinated

People should be required to get vaccinated because opting out of vaccinations puts public health at risk and could lead to a revival of dangerous diseases.

  • “Japan, for example, which had virtually eliminated whooping cough by 1974, suffered an anti-vaccine activist movement that caused vaccine rates to fall to 10% in 1976 from 80% in 1974. In 1979, more than 13,000 cases of whooping cough and 41 deaths occurred as a result” (Offit).

  • “Before 1963, when the measles vaccine became available for public use in the U.S., there were more than 500,000 reported measles cases every year, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data" (Siegel).

  • “Now the disease has returned--with some 640 cases last year--thanks in large part to parental anxiety about vaccination” (Siegel).

  • “Measles is a highly contagious disease with an attack rate of 90%, meaning that an infected person has a 90% chance of spreading it to someone else in close contact” (Siegel).

  • “Parents in the Santa Monica-Malibu School District should be on alert: The percentage of kindergartners who weren't vaccinated last year because their parents don't like the idea of immunization reached more than 14%, well above the level considered safe to keep kindergartners there protected from disease" (Los Angeles Times).

  • “For measles and whooping cough, the benefits of herd immunity fall to what epidemiologists consider unsafe levels when more than 8% of children are unvaccinated” (Los Angeles Times).

Why Some People Believe Parents Should Be Allowed to Opt Out of Getting Vaccinated

Some people believe that due to potential health risks associated with vaccinations, parents should be permitted to opt out of vaccinating their children.

  • "Gary Monahan remembers his son's temperature spiking to 102 degrees when he was vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella. The child then landed in the hospital with what appeared to be whooping cough after his next round of vaccinations" (Foxhall).

  • "Over the last 15 years, spurred on by McCarthy and other high-profile advocates who claim that vaccinations may cause such damaging side effects as autism, more parents are opting out of vaccinations for highly contagious diseases for their children" (Welch).

  • "Klocke, whose children attend Waldorf School of Orange County where 41% of the kindergartners were unvaccinated when they entered kindergarten this year, said she and her husband, a chiropractor, aren't worried about their children getting sick" (Foxhall).