Find Your Free Essay Examples

This Paper Researches The Advantages

This paper researches the advantages and disadvantages of vaccines. Deadly viruses and bacteria are one of the biggest threats to human lives. They can cause fatal diseases such as Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and more. Yet some groups of people(anti-vaxxers) are still against vaccinating their children fearing it will cause autism or some minor side effects. The “anti-vaxxers” movement has been around since 1879 which is almost 80 years after the creation of vaccinations. Today many people are still opposed to vaccinating their children. This could help in the reoccurrence of almost all old diseases that have been eradicated for years. Therefore my thesis statement is: “The advantages of vaccinating children far outweigh their disadvantages ”.

The paper will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of vaccines. It will also show opposing views on this specific topic(anti-vaxxers).

Vaccines were first found in 1800 by Benjamin Waterhouse (1754-1846)[2]. He brought it to the United States and let a Harvard professor of medicine, perform the first U.S. vaccinations on his children just to have solid proof that vaccines work. Early vaccination resulted in mild diseases and infrequent deaths which initiated controversy about the advantages and disadvantages of the process of vaccination. This later on caused to further investigations and development of safer vaccines. After a while vaccinia (smallpox) vaccines were the first successful vaccines to be created. Mandatory vaccination policies were implemented in the 1990s it started with diphtheria, tetanus, and poliomyelitis, it then continued with hepatitis B, influenza, pertussis, varicella, and measles, mumps, rubella (MMR combined vaccine)[1]. One of the main current issues relating to the topic of vaccinations is the anti-vaccination movement. They have established themselves in the United States and in addition to different regions in the world. As soon as scientists discover new effective measures to protect the community using vaccines a group or two of anti-vaxxers arise and proceed against them. Most of their actions are driven by “cultural beliefs, ideologies, medical exemption laws, non-medical exemption laws, distrust of the government, distrust of large pharmaceutical companies, denialism and so on.” As a result of this movement, many old diseases that have been eliminated years ago by the use of vaccines has reoccured.

Vaccinations are given to children as soon as they are born to strengthen their immune system. They are first given two shots against Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B. Two months later they are given shots against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Poliomyelitis, Haemophilus Influenzae B, and Pneumococcal. They are given mandatory vaccinations against many diseases throughout their lives till they reach the age of 16/17. Those given shots are recorded and signed in every child’s vaccination card. It includes the date, vaccination name, dosage, signature, and hospital stamps. This ensures the child’s rights and that they are vaccinated with the right amount and at the right time. Those vaccinations are given on a number of visits that are chosen by their parents. A study has been conducted by three medical professors. It addressed a series of questions answered by parents of newborns. Questions mainly targeted the possible side effects vaccines have (high fever and febrile seizure). Respondents were asked to choose between two vaccination methods that varied in terms of risks of complications, number of injections per visit, and effectiveness. According to the study “Most parents were willing to have their children endure more injections, and many were willing to sacrifice disease protection, in order to lessen the rare chance of febrile seizures.”[3] 6123. The above shows fears that parents have yet they are still supporting the process of vaccination since it is necessary for preventing the spread of infectious deadly diseases. This is also related to how public trust affects parents decisions in vaccinating their children. Parents with a broad scientific background related to vaccines(measles, mumps and rubella vaccines) are most likely to vaccinate their children. This is due to the knowledge of the serious consequences that might result if they refused to vaccinate their children.“Eight-in-ten adults with high science knowledge (80%) say that almost all medical scientists consider the MMR vaccine to be safe.”[9]. As a result, if parents start educating themselves this will help the weaker populations such as young children and older adults.

The idea of vaccination was first brought to limit the spread of infectious diseases. This is accomplished by injecting very small amounts of weak or dead germs into a person’s body to prepare it to fight deadly diseases faster and more efficiently so that the body does not get sick easily[10]. When every individual has achieved this step, the community is then protected against infectious diseases. Although those vaccinations work more efficiently if they are given to the individual him/her self, it is scientifically proven that when a high portion of the population is vaccinated, it is tough for infectious diseases to unfold, as a result of there are not many people who can be infected. As an example, if an individual has rubella is surrounded by people who are vaccinated against rubella, the disease cannot easily be passed on to any other person, yet it will quickly disappear again. This is called ‘herd immunity’[6]. It offers safety and security to defenseless people such as newborn babies, older people. in contrast to vaccination, herd immunity does not give a high level of individual protection, and so it is not the best alternative to getting vaccinated. Strengthening our immune systems using vaccinations will not only protect us in our current days but it will also help in making humans in the future generations safe and free of old deadly diseases. Another advantage of vaccination is to secure unborn children in their mother’s womb. Mothers who have been vaccinated can protect their unborn children from birth deficiencies caused by certain infections and more, vaccinated communities can help abolish illnesses to benefit future generations.“Between 1963 and 1965, prior to the licensing of the rubella vaccine in 1969, a global rubella outbreak caused the deaths of 11,000 babies, and also birth defects in 20,000 babies in the United States.” [10] As a result when mothers are vaccinated against a certain disease their unborn children simultaneously develop an immunization against the same disease. This has helped in decreasing the chance of passing gained viruses to their children. This also eradicates the various birth defects such as having “hearing and vision loss problems, congenital cataracts, liver and spleen damage, and mental disabilities (CDC, 2011).”[10] The mentioned defects will diminish the quality of daily life and will frequently need extra aid to help in functioning like a normal human being. There have been numerous of false impressions about vaccines. There are false accusations that spread on the internet that vaccinations cause several diseases yet, it has been proven that they do not. Some of those common misconceptions about vaccines are autism, and that vaccines contain toxins that might cause harm.[8]

As a normal reaction, the human body will get sick if new bodies are introduced to it. Most side effects vaccines have ranged from mild to moderate such as “soreness, swelling, or redness at the injection site. Some vaccines are associated with fever, rash, and itchiness.” [5] and serious problems that rarely happens such as “Seizures or life-threatening allergic reactions.”[5]. Some of those rare problems are serious such as “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)” which usually happens to 1-year-old infants and younger. Furthermore, it is during the first year that born-with conditions may become noticeable. This does not mean, that any event happening after vaccinating a child is in fact related to the process of vaccination. This brings us to the famous hoax the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism[4]. As a consequence of this action, an increase of measles and mumps recorded. Although the link between (MMR) vaccines and autism was pinned to research was correspondingly retracted, the rate of unvaccinated children continues to increase making the risk of spreading diseases for those who are unable to receive vaccines higher. This also will compromise the idea of herd immunity by decreasing the number of vaccinated individuals allowing diseases to spread easily and faster. In contrast, people are still questioning the efficacy of vaccinations. An example would be the flu vaccination where it reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during the flu seasons[11]. Yet In several studies, the flu vaccine was shown to be more effective amongst individuals who received two doses of flu vaccine compared to individuals who only received a single dose of flu vaccine “partially vaccinated”. This might be one of the main struggles some individuals face when dealing with the costs of vaccines. For instance, in some regions such as India[12], vaccinations nearly cost Rs.58,855 (3,025 Dhs) for a single child from birth till the age of 11. This is excluding the additional charges of the seasonal recommended flu shots which nearly costs Rs.6,330 (325.40 Dhs). As a result, some citizens with a limited low income and no health insurance will suffer from life-threatening disease due to the fact that their income is not enough to cover their medical needs.

The anti-vaccination[7] movement is one of the main critical counter-arguments that are against my thesis statement however, I believe that the evidence I have presented is enough to prove that my thesis statement is indeed correct.

This research paper has shown some of the arguments that are against my thesis statement. One of the most significant counter-arguments is the anti-vaccination movement(anti-vaxxers). These anti-vaccination movements have developed throughout the years and have developed many methods of distributing their ideas to the public. The world wide web is a massive resource for them allowing them to get their messages to a large number people easily. However, I am confident enough that the evidence I have presented will make my thesis statement credible. For future research I might search deeper about the main reasons why (anti-vaxxers) have this ideology and how did it develop.