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Vaccines: The Best Choice For Our Children?

1489 words - 6 pages

There has long been a debate about whether or not parents should take part in the recommended vaccination schedule for their children. Many parents worry about what they do not know about the vaccines. This can include concepts such as what is in the vaccine and how the vaccines themselves, or giving multiple vaccines within a short span of time, affects their children. How combination vaccines such as DTAP and MMRV affect their children’s immune systems or other body systems could be another worry of parents. Today, newborns and young children are routinely vaccinated according to an immunization schedule established in 1995 by the CDC, AAP, and AAFP (Children’s, 2013). While the many benefits of immunizations are consistently promoted by healthcare workers and the media, adverse effects of these vaccines are starting to make their way to the frontlines due to those such as celebrities Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey and mothers such as Jennifer Margulis, featured in PBS’s short film titled “The Vaccine War”. These, as well as many others, advocate for the decision to not vaccinate their children against certain diseases, or to not vaccinate at all, due to the sometimes severe effects that these vaccines can elicit in a young child. Blindly immunizing our children with all of the vaccines recommended by government agencies and health care workers and complying with the norm can elicit detrimental effects and bring about the question: is complying with the current vaccination regimen really the best decision for our children?
The history of vaccination dates back to the late 1700’s with Edward Jenner’s success in discovering a way to immunize an individual against smallpox (Children’s, 2013). Since then, many different vaccinations have been formulated against diseases, such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenza type b, and varicella (Children’s, 2013). A number of combination vaccinations such as MMR, MMRV, and DTP have also been developed (Children’s, 2013; Klein et al., 2010). These allowed for children to be immunized against more diseases than the number of needle sticks they received. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (2013), with the addition of so many new vaccines, a young child’s immunization schedule has become significantly more complicated than it has ever been before. As reported by the CDC (2014), children from birth to 6 years of age receive vaccinations against at least ten different diseases, with some vaccinations requiring more than one administration in order to attempt to ensure full immunity. With this wide number of vaccinations, some given within seconds or minutes of each other and others having two or more vaccines mixed into one injection, the chance that adverse events could have a significantly negative impact on the young children receiving the vaccines is a definite possibility despite all of the research already conducted...

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