Require Vaccination

By: Michelle Li

INTRODUCTION

A measles outbreak in the US that started in Disneyland in late December 2014 has already spread to 17 states and infected more than 100 people (Ziv, Stan). Vaccines have become an important achievement in history. They have eradicated many once life threatening diseases and protect the public from harm. However, some fallacies about vaccines have led to parents making the ignorant decision to not vaccinate their children. Many people believe the misconception that since we now have modern technology and have vastly improved our hygiene and science, we are safe from diseases. That is not the case. Once prevented diseases could reappear and public health officials are poorly equipped to handle such a large outbreak (Saari, 8).

CLAIM

Vaccination should be required for childen because they keep the child safe and keep the public safe from dangerous diseases
Firstly, vaccines protect children. For example, according to Shot@Life, vaccines save 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year. That equates to almost 285 children saved every hour. The CDC estimates that around 732,000 American children were saved from death and 322 million cases of childhood illnesses were prevented between 1994 and 2014 due to vaccination. Vaccines have also decreased childhood deaths from measles by 74% (vaccines.procon.org). Even though vaccines have clearly kept children safe, some parents still support the erroneous belief that vaccines cause Autism, and refuse to vaccinate their chldren. The fact that vaccines cause Autism has been already proven incorrect by many studies such as a 2002 study in Denmark that surveyed more than 500,000 children and still found no link between autism and vaccination (Saari, 49). Some people also do not vaccinate because of the risk for adverse reactions, but adverse reactions are extremely rare. The most common side effect of vaccines, Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), occurs in one per several hundred thousand to one per million vaccinations (vaccine.procon.org). By not vaccinating children, parents are putting their children's life at risk instead of protecting them from dangerous diseases.
Secondly, vaccines protect the public from dangerous diseases. Herd immunity means that when a certain precentage of a population is vaccinated against a contagious disease, it is ulikely that an outbreak will occur and the community will be safe. (vaccines.procon.org) Herd immunity is critical in keeping people such as elders or children who can not be vaccinated due to age or poor health safe. The result of not meeting the herd immunity ammount was seen in January 2008 when 48 children in San Diego had to be quarrintined due to an outbreak of measles. The herd immunity was too low to keep them safe. In 2011, 49 US states did not meet the 92-94% herd immunity threshold for pertussis (whooping cough). The result was a 2012 outbreak that sickened 42,000 people and was the biggest outbreak since 1955. In 2005, an 18-month-old Amish girl contracted polio and spread the disease to four other unvaccinated children, but, because the community met the herd immunity threshold for the disease, there was no polio outbreak (vaccines.procon.org). Vaccinating is important to keep the public and those who are unable to vaccinate safe.

This video shows how lack of vaccinations have led to the return of dangerous diseases such as the Measles

How Measles Made a Comeback

CONCLUSION

Vaccation should be required for many reasons. A few of the many reasons are that they keep children safe and the public safe from dangerous diseases. Many already eradicated diseases could reapear, resulting in disastrous consequences. Already, we have seen an outbreak of measles. All people who are able should be vaccinated to ensure that we are safe. As Dr. Rober Amler said, "being exposed to the virus is a greater threat than any side effect or adverse reaction."

Works Cited

"Vaccines ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. 06 Feb. 2015. Web. 11 Feb. 2015


Saari, Holly. The Vaccination Debate. North Mankato: ABDO Publishing Company. 2011. Print.


Hannaford, Alex. "Unscientific Claims About Autism Take a Toll." Why is Autism on the Rise? Greenhaven Press, Web. 5 Apr. 2013. 8 Feb. 2015.