Should of Meningococcal, 4 doses of polio, along with

Should the government mandate
vaccines?

I. Introduction:

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“Should the government mandate vaccines?”
is a controversial question that is being asked by many during the past few
decades. The problem with vaccines is that many people believe that vaccines do
more harm than good. Vaccines are required for children before they enter the public
school system. Vaccines are not required by the federal government, but each
state has their own requirements. Even though there are several exemptions,
such as religious and medical exemptions, exemptions are hard to obtain and
cause problems when epidemics arise. If an epidemic is going on, children who
do not have a certain immunization, will be kept away from schools, and they
will be missing out on learning, sometimes up to a month.

In one research poll, people were asked on
whether or not vaccines should be required for children. The conclusion came to
be that:

Overall,
68% of U.S. adults say childhood vaccinations should be required, while 30% say
parents should be able to decide. Among all age groups, young adults are more
likely to say vaccinating children should be a parental choice. Some 41% of 18-
to 29-year-olds say parents should be able to decide whether or not their child
gets vaccinated; only 20% of adults 65 or older echo this opinion. (Anderson,
2015)

It
is observable that this issue is controversial since the younger generations
are voicing that vaccinations should be a choice and not required by the law or
state. For example, in Massachusetts, before preschool, children need 1-4 doses
of Hib, 4 doses of DTaP, 3 doses of Polio, 3 doses of Hepatitis B, 1 dose of
MMR, and 1 dose of Varicella. By the time children enter college in
Massachusetts, a person would have received 1 dose of Tdap, 3 doses of Hepatitis
B, 2 doses of MMR, 2 doses of Varicella, 1 dose of Meningococcal, 4 doses of
polio, along with other vaccines, such as the influenza vaccine. The amount of
vaccines required demonstrates that one’s immune system has to deal with so
many triggers that can greatly affect their health in the first eighteen years
of his or her life by either benefiting or hurting them. In the United States,
there are vaccines which are recommended to take during the childhood years
that are said to protect against 15 separate diseases. These diseases include
chickenpox, diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hib, HPV, influenza, Japanese
encephalitis, measles, meningococcal, mumps, pertussis, pneumococcal, polio,
rabies, rotavirus, shingles, tetanus, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and yellow
fever.

            First, one might ask what vaccines
are in the first place and how do they work. The Center for Disease Control
states that:

Vaccines
help develop immunity by imitating an infection. This type of infection,
however, does not cause illness, but it does cause the immune system to produce
T-lymphocytes and antibodies. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation
infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are
normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity. (“Understanding how
Vaccines Work” , 2013)

The
“infection” caused is an imitation of the disease, and once that’s gone, a
person’s body contains memory cells, that will prevent future diseases from
taking over, since their body will be able to work and fight the actual
disease.

            The earliest history of diseases
that have vaccines now was in 400 BC. In his writings, Hippocrates writes about
mumps, diphtheria, epidemic jaundice, and other diseases that later led to
vaccines. In 1798, Edward Jenner observed that one can be protected from small
pox by producing immunity to the disease through the vaccination of the virus.
He discovered this to be true when he was able to inject James Phipps, an
eight-year-old, with the cowpox, and he survived. After the 1790s, people such
as Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, Alexandre Yersin, Joseph Kinyoun, and so many
others made new discoveries and research that led to the development of the
multiple vaccines out in the world today. Through their efforts, they were able
to save millions of lives which could have been lost due to many disease
epidemics that have occurred.

 

II. Opposing Viewpoints:

A.
Yes, the government should mandate vaccines

1. Vaccines can help save a child’s life

            Vaccines can help save a child’s
life and prevent the spread of illnesses. According to the American Academy of
Pediatrics, “most childhood vaccines are 90% to 99% effective in preventing
disease… and it is rare for side effects to be serious.” Many diseases that can
be prevented though vaccines have serious illnesses and complications if not
immunized. These complications include “amputation of an arm or leg, paralysis
of limbs, hearing loss, convulsions, brain damage, and death” (“Importance of
Vaccines”, 2016). It is important to understand that the risks of not being
immunized are greater than the small complications one might get if they get
vaccinated. Before vaccines, there was a high child mortality, but that has
changed once developing medicine has discovered the effects of vaccines.
Immunizations not only keep a child safe, but it also keeps the family,
friends, and colleagues from becoming ill from a certain outbreak.

2. Adverse reactions to vaccines are
extremely rare

            Adverse reactions to vaccines are
extremely rare and in some studies, there is no evidence that there even are
adverse reactions. Many people worry that the schedule set for the vaccines
interferes with the development of the children, but numerous studies, have
showed no evidence that “the U.S. childhood immunization schedule is linked to
autoimmune diseases, asthma, hypersensitivity, seizures, child developmental disorders,
learning or developmental disorders, or attention deficit or disruptive
disorders” (Hinshaw, 2013). One study performed on 715,484 children who have
received the MMRV or MMR+V between the age of four to six revealed that after
ten days of receiving the vaccine, “that there would only be 1 febrile seizure
for every 15?500 doses of MMRV or 1 febrile seizure for every 18?000 doses MMR
+ V administered” (Klein, 2012). These febrile seizures are very rare, and the
reason why the happen is because some children’s immune systems have a harder
time adjusting to the “disease” so the body needs to fight it off somehow
before creating the memory that will then be able to fight the actual disease.
More importantly, vaccines strengthen the immune system, so one’s body will be
able to fight a certain disease. According to Sanjay Gupta (2017), Chief
Medical Correspondent for CNN and practicing neurosurgeon, “you are 100
times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have a serious allergic
reaction to the vaccine that protects you against measles.”

3. Vaccines have destroyed many diseases

            Vaccines have destroyed many disease
and immunizations are able to save around nine million lives each year. Vaccines
can provide protection against diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. More
deaths could be prevented, but people either do not want to be vaccinates or
they do not have the ability to get them. Small pox and rinderpest (virus which
infected cattle) have been already eradicated completely. Polio,
dracunculiasis, yaws, and malaria have been almost eradicated globally. Over
time, it is expected that the most majority of disease will be eradicated or
preventable through immunizations.

4.
Vaccines are safe

            In continuation, it is important for
people to understand that vaccines are effective, safe, and most of the times
harmless, according to research. Vaccines go through many trials.

All
vaccines undergo long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and the
federal government to make sure they are safe. Organizations such as the
American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all strongly support protecting
children with recommended vaccinations. (“Importance of Vaccines”, 2016)

Vaccinations
seem to be the answer to preventing most diseases, even though, in this world,
many people still die from diseases that they were immunized for.

 

B.
No, the government should not mandate vaccines

1. Vaccines are known to cause severe side
effects, and even death

            Even though vaccines are approved many
organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Centers for
Disease Control, vaccines are known to cause severe side effects, and even
death. “According to the CDC, all vaccines carry a risk of a life-threatening
allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in about one per million children” (Vaccines
ProCon, 2017). Vaccines are known to cause brain damage, neurological damage,
immune system damage, severe allergic reactions, seizures, convulsions,
Guillain-Barre Syndrome, sensory impairments, bowel and blood disorders,
diabetes, autism, and even death (“Wondering About the Safety”, 2017). There
are even many doctors who believe that the explanation for many problems are
that vaccines are the cause. Doctor Kenneth Aitken, a British specialist on
autism states that “When I was training, one in 2,500 children were
autistic. Now it is one in 250. At the moment, the only logical explanation
for this is MMR” (Ghafour, 2002). Even a doctor who specializes with
autistic persons believes that vaccines are the cause to this outbreak of
autism. It seems that the government, organizations, and medics are treating
diseases with vaccines to prevent them, while at the same time, they are
causing other major, irreversible problems. It is not right for a child to die
by getting immunized. It definitely defeats the purpose of strengthening one’s
immune system if they are already dead.

2. The government should not get medically
involved into people’s private lives

            A great majority of people believes
that the government should not interfere with medical decisions when it comes
down to private, medical decisions. This is an invasion of privacy. The
government should not mandate certain vaccinations which are required for
children in order for them to be able to go to school. Parents should be able
to make medical decisions for their children. This takes away from one’s right
to do whatever they choose with his or her own body. If the government mandates
vaccines, people no longer have power over what goes into their bodies.  Co-founder of National Vaccine Information
Center, Barbara Low Fisher, stated, “If the State can tag, track down and
force citizens against their will to be injected with biological products of
known and unknown toxicity today, there will be no limit on which individual
freedoms the State can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow”
(“Barbara Speaks Out”, 2017).   

3.
Vaccine contains are made from corrupt ingredients

            Some vaccines are made from corrupt
and unsafe ingredients. Some of the ingredients are considered corrupt because
they interfere with people’s beliefs and religions. In the 1960s, vaccines were
made in cells of two fetuses who were voluntarily aborted. Here, two lives were
ended so they could save many others, but the fetuses had no choice in this.
Their lives were taken away involuntarily. For Christians, and some other
religions, it is wrong to take someone’s life, and in this case, that is what
happened. ProCon.org also has some other examples of these corrupt ingredients.

Some
vaccines for DTaP, Hep A, RV, Hib, HPV, IPV, flu, MMR, and chicken pox are made
using animal products like chicken eggs, bovine casein, insect cells, Cocker
Spaniel cells, pig gelatin, and cells from African Green monkeys, making those
vaccines conflict with some vegetarian and vegan philosophies. Others consider
it problematic that some vaccines are produced using human albumin, a blood
plasma protein. (Vaccines ProCon, 2017)

There
are as well some ingredients that make vaccines unsafe. These ingredients are
either used for the preparation or the preservation of vaccines. “Merthiolate
(Thimerossal), bensethonium chloride, methyl paraben, phenol red, pyridine,
ethylene alcohol, and ethylene chlorohydrin” (Mason, 1971) are known to cause
sickening side effects which can alter one’s health.

4.
Many vaccines mandatory today are for diseases that are
no longer an epidemic

            Many vaccines given today are for
diseases that are not of high risk for epidemic diseases. For example, the
chicken pox “can be treated with acetaminophen, cool compresses, and calamine
lotion. The measles… can be treated with rest and fluids. Rubella… can be
treated with acetaminophen. Rotavirus treatment is hydration and probiotics”
(Vaccines ProCon, 2017). Parents should not be forced to vaccinate their
children, especially for diseases that can be treated with simple medications
and rest. Sometimes vaccines have greater side effects than the symptoms for
chicken pox, measles, rubella, and rotavirus. One should not have to go through
all the pain for vaccines that are not even worth it, and that can put one’s
immune system at greater risks. 

 

III. Analysis:

            Looking through the opposing
viewpoints, it is important to see that vaccines are a controversial topic that
keeps people wondering what is better. To conclude, it came to that vaccines can
help save a child’s life, as well as causing severe side effects and even death,
making the adverse reactions to vaccines not so rare after all. A vaccine cannot
be safe if it contains corrupt and unhealthy ingredients, and a vaccine should definitely
not be used if it’s no longer needed. Finally, the government should not be able
to get medically involved in people’s medical lives, since that takes away from
freedom to do whatever with one’s body.

For some people, benefits outweigh the
risks, and vice versa. It is very obvious that vaccines have a lot of negatives
and that is why parents would not want their children to be vaccinated, but
then it is not the parent’s choice if the state mandates the certain vaccines
in order for a child to be able to enter a school. Just as there are positives
to vaccines, there are also negatives.

            It is important to understand who is
making the policy and based on which structures is the vaccine policy
formulated on. Each state makes its own immunization policy; therefore, it
differentiates from state to state. These policies do not only have to apply to
children who go to public schools and colleges, but to private schools as well.
The vaccine policy is formulated based on the idea that “immunization is one of
the most cost-effective means of public health promotion and disease
prevention… State laws mandating vaccines are one strategy to control
vaccine-preventable diseases” (“Policy and Position”, 2017). The benefiters of
this policy are everyone who gets the vaccinations, and become immune to the
disease; except those who become unlucky with severe symptoms and sometimes
even death. The benefiters of this policy can also be the makers of the
vaccines and the doctors as well. Vaccines cost a lot of money, and since they
are mandate, people are “forced” to pay and get immunized.

            In the United States, the sates have
the power in the vaccine policy. They mandate vaccinations, when to get them,
and which ones. Parents have no power, unless they are able to get a medical or
religious exemption.

 

IV. Policy Prescription:

            A possible solution to the policy
problem should be that only the very important vaccines should be mandated, and
if they have corrupt materials that go against one’s beliefs and lifestyle,
they should be able to be exempt from them. Vaccines that are for diseases that
can easily be treated with medications should be optional, so people would not
have to get them for no reason. Since the state is in charge, each state should
make the vaccine policy less mandatory and more optional. People should be able
to chose what they want to put into their own bodies or in the bodies of their
children. The state should not have control over people’s bodies, therefore,
people should not be “forced” to get vaccinations just so they could go to
school or work in a certain area. Restructuring would be of benefit. The state
should not be mandating vaccines since vaccines are so controversial. Vaccines
should be a person’s personal choice, not the government’s. If a person believes
that he or she needs a vaccine, the person herself or himself should have the power
to choose whether he or she will get it. The only time the government should interfere
and mandate vaccinations, should only be under the condition that there is a current
epidemic.