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Should Child Vaccinations Be Mandatory? Essay

1785 words - 8 pages

Each year, about 2.1 million people die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Many children may not receive their necessary first year vaccinations because of lack of availability, religious beliefs, and safety concerns (Healy, Rench, and Baker 540). The dictionary definition of a vaccine is a biological preparation that improves the immunity to a certain disease (Healy, Rench, and Baker 540). Although all 50 States in the United States require children to be vaccinated to certain diseases before entering school, the states also have exemptions for these vaccinations (Lu 870). Parents often choose not to get their children immunized, and it has proven harmful to the health of the global population. It is important for parents to have their children vaccinated against diseases such as measles, mumps, and polio because it is important to promote the welfare of the human race (Parkins 439).
Vaccinations have significantly reduced the disease rate throughout the world. Usually, vaccines prove to be between 90 and 99 percent effective. This reduces disease and mortality rate by thousands every year (Jolley and Douglas 1). On average, vaccines save the lives of 33,000 innocent children every year (“Vaccines” 1). In addition, if a vaccinated child did contract the vaccine’s targeted illness, that child would, in general, have more mild symptoms than an unvaccinated child that contracts the same illness. These vaccinated children will have less serious complications if they do contract the disease; they will be much more treatable, and have a lower risk of death (Jolley and Douglas 2). The risks of not vaccinating greatly outweigh the small risks of vaccination. Diseases like measles and mumps can cause permanent disability. While there is a slim chance that children could become infected from the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, most side effects include just a low-grade fever or soreness (Parkins 438). This shows that getting children vaccinated is significantly worth the small risks associated with the vaccines (Jolley and Douglas 2; Parkins 438).
Furthermore, the difference in disease rate between developed and undeveloped countries completely proves that vaccines are effective. In underdeveloped countries such as Uganda, children seldom receive the same vaccinations as children in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom (Kizito et al. 2). The rate for common, vaccine- preventable diseases in Uganda is much higher than in the more developed countries. This, in turn, proves that, where vaccine is accessible, vaccine-preventable disease rates are much lower (Kizito et al. 5). When disease rates and vaccination accessibility are directly related, we must conclude that the vaccines’ effectiveness lowers the disease rates (Kizito et al. 5).
The United States started mandating vaccines for children around the 1950s; however, many countries, such as most African and Middle Eastern countries, still do not mandate the vaccination of...

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