Vaccinations

The Societal Benefits of Mandatory Vaccinations for Children

Background

The government is toying with the idea of making vaccinations mandatory for children. Because children must be properly vaccinated before starting school, we are partway there. Here's what you need to know about the issue.
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How They Work

Vaccines usually contain, along with chemicals to help your body better react to the immunization, parts of dead viruses. When these parts enter your blood stream through muscle tissue, the white blood cells in your body create antibodies that destory the parts of the dead virus. Your body saves these antibodies, so then if the disease ever enters your body again, it can be destroyed without the individual having to suffer the effects of the illness.
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Benefits of Vaccinations

Monetary Societal Gains

In this time of economic hardship in the United States, some dissenters against vaccinations have begun saying that, without vaccinations, we would be saving some of society's money. Chemists and other bio-technicians would not have to be paid for creating the vaccine. The vaccine would not have to be tested. Doctors and nurses wages would be lessened from fewer hours worked. However, these individuals do not stop to consider the time in school lost by children sick from vaccine-preventable diseases, the wages of parents lost to stay home with their sick children, and the lost wages of children who died because of the debilitating effects of avoidable diseases.

In fact, the CDC estimated that children who received their vaccines from 1994 and 2014 have saved society $1.38 trillion in "societal costs." Even more astounding is UNICEF's estimation that an additional $6.2 billion could be saved if vaccines were more prominent in some of the poorest countries (Vaccines Procon.org).

Herd Immunity

Opponents to vaccinations claim that vaccines can have "serious and sometimes fatal side effects", but they are mistaken. The CDC claims that while all vaccines have the potential of causing a life-threating allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, only about one per million children are affected (Vaccines ProCon.org.). Taking that chance (a 0.0001% chance) is much better than the odds of dying from a vaccine-preventable disease (1,501,000 children die globally from diseases like rotavirus, pneumococcus, pertussis, Hib, measles, and tetanus) - all deaths that could have been avoided by a simple doctor's visit. Furthermore, vaccinating a majority of the population leads to a phenomenon called ‘herd immunity;’ a scenario in which contagious diseases have an extremely small impact on a population in which most people are vaccinated because there are so few unvaccinated people that the disease can travel through (Herd Immunity (Community Immunity)).
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Questions

A few questions for you readers...


What is your stance on mandatory vaccinations?

Did your position change because of the evidence presented?

What information did you find interesting, confusing, or otherwise?

Sources

All sources can be found in the 'Works Cited' essay (link below). In order to find evidence that opposed this argument, I found information on credible-looking, but inherently biased websites. I also wanted a more individual point of view as to why children should not be vaccinated, so one source was a woman's blog. All evidence perpetuating the argument that vaccines should be mandatory, I ensured, originates from credible sites linked and fact-checked with multiple other articles.