The Debate Over Vaccination Essay

732 words - 3 pages


Getting a shot can be a scary experience for children and their parents. Vaccinations protect children from dangerous infections by introducing a weak or dead pathogen triggering the body to defend itself. Sometimes these pathogens can harm the child which makes some parents wonder if the risk is worth the reward. Two opposing articles on immunization will be analyzed to determine which argument is more successful.
The first article is “Immunization Is a Question of Science, Not Faith: How I Evaluated the Immunization ‘Debate’ “, by Chanda Cooper-Warren. Her article appears on the website www.quackwatch.org, and is written with the authority of a concerned mother without any medical credentials listed. Warren believed that, “A medical issue should be judged by science”, and any claim on the subject had to be based on valid scientific data from a reputable source (Cooper-Warren). Adopting this view, Warren dismissed many arguments against immunization as fear based and not scientifically supported. Warren illustrates this point with a story from the New Zealand Herald about research that contradicted a study suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. This false link persuaded many parents into fearing immunization. Warren’s final argument for immunization consists of facts about measles and how “measles was the eighth leading cause of death throughout the world in 1990” and could be prevented with a vaccine (Cooper-Warren). Warren argues passionately but not perfectly. She believes that science should decide the issue, not fears, yet her article demonstrates little science and even fewer references. Warren countered the claims of Viera Scheibner, a famous advocate against immunization, by checking the author’s credibility. However, Warren fails to divulge sufficient details against Viera and cites only one example from a source with unreported credentials. Warren dismissed fear based arguments against immunizations, and then concludes her argument with a fearful statement about vaccine preventable deaths due to measles.
Andrew Saul maintains a position against immunization in his article, “Vaccinations and Children”. Saul’s article appears on the web site www.DoctorYourself.com. While Saul is an author of health books, no other credentials are given to establish his authority over the medical profession and his stance on health. Saul’s...

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