Eradication is the concept that a disease is entirely eliminated in a region. (Carter n.d.) Only one infectious disease to date, smallpox, has been categorized as eradicated worldwide (CDC 2010). How did this eradication occur? From 1958 to 1965 all fifty states enacted legislation to mandate school age children receive the small pox vaccine (College of Philadelphia). Consequently, by 1971, no small pox cases had been reported in the United States for 20 years. The last known smallpox case in the world was in Somalia in 1977 (CDC 2010). Even though small pox is the only listed eradicated disease, the Carter Foundation has listed six other diseases as having the potential to be eradicated: lymphatic filariasis (Elephantiasis), polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and pork tapeworm. In addition to these previous listed diseases are to date the following diseases which are considered preventable by vaccination: chicken pox, diphtheria, Haemohphilus Influenza type B, Hepatitis A and B, HPV, Influenza, Measles, Meningococcal Disease, Mumps, Pertusis, Pneumonia, Polio, Rotavirus, Rubella, Shingles, Smallpox, Tetanus, Yellow Fever, and STDs (Carter n.d.).
The effectiveness of vaccinations continues to be proven (Malone and Hinaman n.d.). For example, after development of the measles vaccine and the implementation of the vaccination program, the number of reported measles cases declined from 57,345 in 1977 to 2587 in 1984( CDC 2010 ). However, even though vaccinations have been proven safe and effective; there are still risks as well as the implication that not every person who is vaccinated will obtain immunity. That being said, serious damage from vaccination is a rare occurrence (Malone and Hinaman). A Glanz study (2013) from the Vaccine Safety data link demonstrated a direct magnitude that as communities were under vaccinated for Pertusis, the risk of Pertusis increased. The study also showed a 28 times higher rate of Pertusis in children that had no Pertusis vaccination documentation (Glanz et al. 2913). This study as well as an intense list of data by the CDC emulates supportive data for the effectiveness of vaccinations.
However, even with the evidence, there continues to be citizens who fear vaccinations and refuse to inoculate their children. Currently, in the state of Ohio, any minor child, through the child’s parent or guardian can provide documentation based on religious or philosophical reasons to not receive the vaccination (CDC 2010). That child is then considered exempt from the Ohio law 3313.671. This law states that” no pupil at the initial entry as the beginning of each school year, to an elementary of high school …. shall be permitted to remain in school for more than fourteen days unless the pupil presents by a method of immunization approved” (Ohio 3313.671). However, in section four, the law has allowed declination of vaccination based on reasons of conscience (Ohio 3313.671) The law does not mandate the child to be...