Vaccines Should Be Mandatory And Vaccination

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Who would knowingly put their children and others at risk by not receiving life-saving vaccines? Each year, 50,000 to 90,000 adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Imagine how may children are also affected by these diseases. Especially newborn children, who’s immune systems are not fully developed and are too young to get vaccines. Vaccinations for children must be mandatory. Both research and science support this idea with multiple, powerful pieces of evidence. First, refusing vaccinations for one’s child puts their health and life at risk. The diseases prevented by vaccines can put one in serious and sometimes deadly conditions. Secondly, vaccines have multiple economic benefits. Children who carry a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied access to schools and the illness can often lead to life-time disabilities, leaving one in a financial toll. Finally, vaccines can completely eradicate diseases over time. Vaccines have already helped nearly eradicate polio, tetanus, rubella, measles, and completely eradicated smallpox. Imagine how many more diseases could be killed off, just from getting the vaccines one needs. Vaccines are here to help, rather than leaving one worried and feeling troubled, so, for the benefit of everyone’s health, vaccines should be mandatory for all.

Refusing vaccinations for one’s child puts their health and life at risk. These vaccine-preventable diseases are not always treatable and can cause hospitalization or even death. Every year, around 3 million people die from vaccine-preventable diseases. Gates Foundation stated that, “an estimated 1.5 million children die each year- one every 20 seconds- from vaccine-preventable diseases” (Gates Foundation 1). Half the population of the people who die from vaccine-preventable diseases in children. Children have weaker immune systems and catch these diseases quicker than most adults. Hepatitis B is one of the most infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccines and still 2 of 100 adults and 90 of 100 infants catch the virus. A pregnant woman can spread it to their unborn child and it can also spread rapidly and unknowingly through sex or shared use of needles. This goes to show that unprotected sex can lead to not only STDs, but can also lead to deadly vaccine-preventable diseases. Illinois Immunization Program states, “Hepatitis B causes a flu-like illness with loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, rashes, joint pain and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin). An infected pregnant woman can expose her newborn to this virus during birth. The virus stays in the liver of some people for the rest of their lives and can result in severe liver diseases or cancer” (IDPH 1). Hepatitis B has detrimental, discomforting, and irreversible effects that one would not want to have to pass down to their children or others. One does not want the guilt of knowing that they caused their child’s discomfort or even worse, death, because they decided not to get vaccinated, caught a deadly disease, and passed it on to their unborn child. Measles is another infectious disease that can be prevented by vaccines, but to this day, thousands of people around the world still have it and are spreading it. In 2018, measles spread to 82,500 people in Europe and killed 72 of them. This deadly disease can be spread by simply touchy a dirty handrail or being in the same room with someone who has measles. Without vaccination, there is a 90% chance one will catch measles if exposed to it. As stated by Ruediger Schoenbohm, “The measles virus is extremely dangerous. Thousands of children around the world suffer from acute complications such as heart problems, deafness, eye infection, meningitis, hepatitis, bronchitis, Krupp cough, and of course the rare ‘ like infections of the optic nerve or SSPE” (Schoenbohm 1). Measles is spread easily and has heartbreak results to the one’s who catch it. SSPE is a neurological disorder spread through measles that can cause blindness, memory loss, consistent seizures, swallowing difficulty, temperature and blood pressure abnormality, and disabling. Although this is a rare effect of measles, it occurs in about 2 in 100,000 measles cases, and most of these cases die in 1 to 3 years of the diagnosis. SSPE causes one to be in a wheelchair for the rest of one’s life, being hand-fed and assisted for all needs, just from not getting one quick vaccine. All this worry, wait, and trouble is not worth it when one can simply go to the doctor and receive their mandatory vaccines.

Vaccines can save families time and money. When one catches a vaccines-preventable disease it can be costly, leading to constant doctor visits and hospitalization. Especially if one does not have good health insurance to cover the expenses, the costs can add up over time. Research America stated, “In 2011, there were 16 individual outbreaks of measles in the U.S., each of which cost local and state public health institutions between $2.7 million and $5.3 million to address” (Research America 1). If there were double or even triple the amount of outbreaks, imagine how much money would have to be spent to address something that could be easily prevented by getting a vaccination. Vaccines, such as measles, tetanus, and hepatitis b, may also leave one with a disability, causing one to spend more on medical expenses and personal assistance or devices. As stated by Turn 2 US, “This ‘disability price tag’ costs an average of £6,840 a year; however one in four disabled people pay over £12,000 a year extra due to their condition” (Turn 2 US 1). The average cost each year when living with a disability in American dollars is $8,777.81, and $15,399.66 for one in four of disabled people. For many families, these costs could be very damaging, leading one to a financial toll. Vaccines can also save families time from caring for sick children and constant hospital visits. The wait to find a likable doctor and a good hospital can add up and cause one to have less time to be treated. Even Bill Gates stated, “for every dollar spent on childhood immunization, you get $44 in economic benefits” (Bill Gates 1). If one spent $100 on immunization, that would add up to $440 in economic benefits. One will spend more money on getting treated from a vaccine-preventable disease, than on the vaccine itself. In the long run, vaccines save one more money than one has to spend to be vaccinated and protected.

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Vaccines can completely eradicate diseases over time. Due to vaccines, one is prevented from receiving a vaccine-preventable disease, causing the disease to slowly spread to fewer individuals over time. Vaccines have already entirely whipped out smallpox and rinderpest. These diseases are no longer passed on because there have been no cases in a couple of decades, and they will not return. History of Vaccines stated, “In 1980, after decades of efforts by the World Health Organization, the World Health Assembly endorsed a statement declaring smallpox eradicated. Coordinated efforts rid the world of a disease that had once killed up to 35% of its victims and left others scarred or blind” (History of Vaccines 1). Smallpox was a very intimidating disease that killed multiple people and left many blind. Thanks to vaccines, smallpox has been completely eradicated and has not been in effect in over 2 decades. There are many vaccine-preventable diseases that are spreading less rapidly because of vaccines. Measles, polio, rubella, and hepatitis b have all been nearly eradicated. The rate of these diseases have drastically decreased over time and is becoming less and less of a worry or all. As stated by Vaccines, “By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), the risk that pregnant women will pass this virus on to their fetus or newborn has been dramatically decreased, and birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States. If we continue vaccinating now and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future” (Vaccines 1). Vaccines are helping new coming parents worry less about whether or not their child might be affected by these harmful diseases. In 2018, there were less than 400 cases of rubella, and the more people who get vaccinated, the less one will have to worry about the disease in all. Soon enough, if we continue to get the vaccines one need, the requirement for vaccines will not be necessary, because many of the diseases will be eradicated.

Arguments do exist that are contrary to those mentioned above but these can be clearly defeated upon closer inspection. Although vaccines can cause some serious side effects, the chances of these side effects are lower than the chances of catching a vaccine-preventable without being treated. Only one in a million children have serious side effects due to receiving their vaccines, while the chances of catching the disease with no vaccination are 1 in 100. Other than the side-effects of vaccines, one could also possibly be allergic to the ingredients in them. To make sure one is not allergic, one should check with their doctor before proceeding with the vaccine to ensure to worry. One should not risk these chances of catching a vaccine-preventable disease over the small risk of the serious side effects of the vaccine itself. Some also believe the government should not be intruding on one’s personal medical choice, but the government is doing it for the benefit of everyone’s health. The government has the recourses to keep the people safe, so why not use that toward the benefit of one’s health and safety. Also, the government would not consider making vaccines mandatory if they knew they were harmful. The government interacts with doctors to ensure the patient’s safety before proceeding with the vaccine so one does not need to worry. There is also a chance that vaccines could be going against one’s religious beliefs. In most cases, most of the religious beliefs come from the parents, not necessarily the child. The government states that it is the patients’ decision, in these cases, the child’s, to decide whether the medical treatment can be done or not. Only a few religions opt-out of the use of vaccines, and one must show evidence of one’s religion and the exemption of vaccines. Others believe that vaccines do not actually work. If vaccines were not guaranteed to work, then it would not have been possible to almost eradicate the diseases that we have almost completely gotten rid of. The government would not make a useless Many arguments can be made about vaccines, but most can be contradicted.

Vaccines are an import concept to a healthy life and must be mandatory. They protect one from deadly disease and can help families financially in the long run. Symptoms can be brutal and effect one for a life time. Vaccines will prevent one from catching a disease such as polio, measles, rabies, syphilis, and hepatitis b. These may lead to fevers, headaches, rashes, muscle spasms or weakness, breathing problems, blindness, and even death. Many of these diseases are not easy to treat and can add up in costs for medical bills. Constant medical bills and treatment are very expensive and can be hard to pay off. If one does not have good insurance or none at all, treatments can be financially destructive. Not only do they help protect one’s health, but they also can help stop the spread of disease. Vaccines have completely eradicated smallpox, and is very close to eradicating rinderpest, malaria, yaws, and dozens more. If everyone were to get their needed vaccines, we could kill off multiple vaccine-preventable diseases in no time. The government and schools around the world should be taking part in making vaccine-preventable diseases mandatory for a better and healthier future.  

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