Why You Should Vaccinate Your Child Essay Example
Vaccinations have been around for years and helped immunize billions of people against deadly diseases, yet it is not required for everyone to get this life-saving tool and some people refuse to vaccinate children or animals. In some European countries vaccinations are required to live or travel there, but countries like the U.S. and other countries, mostly developing or large countries, vaccines are not required. In early 2019 there was a measles outbreak in the Philippines and the United States, from January to April there was 704 cases of measles, where 338 died which is more than there were since 1994. Not vaccinating your children is dangerous because vaccines have been proven to work and prevent fatal diseases, they keep the individual as well as the community safe, and if not one vaccinated then harmful diseases would be more common which is why all children and adults alike should be vaccinated.
Vaccines have been around for a while even though they might seem new and different. Vaccination or the practice of it dates back hundreds of years from Buddhist monks to 17th century China, for example; The Immunization Advisory Centre on a Brief History of Vaccination says, “Buddhist monks drank snake venom to confer immunity to snake bite’’ (Brief History). The first time vaccines were demonstrated and proven was by Edward Jenner in 1796 with a vaccine to smallpox, which eventually led to smallpox being eradicated, “In 1798, the first smallpox vaccine was developed. Over the 18th and 19th centuries, systematic implementation of mass smallpox immunisation culminated in its global eradication in 1979”(Brief History). Early vaccines were made similar to present day’s vaccines where they would introduce the body to the disease slowly and build an immunity to it.
Vaccines work by introducing a version of the disease into your body, “Vaccines are made from the same germs that cause disease; for example, polio vaccine is made from polio virus” (Vaccine Basics). Your body’s immune system then recognizes the disease and fights it, this is where things get controversial, some believe that it is bad for a young child or infant to be exposed to this disease and its bad for them, Jack Wolfson, a Cardiologist at Wolfson Integrative Cardiology believes, “Our children have the right to get infections. We have immune systems for that purpose… These are typically benign childhood conditions” (Wolfson). While this is correct, this is also very dangerous to someone. The immune system takes days and in some cases, weeks, to fight an infection or disease.
Yamini Durani on the immune system says, “The immune system is the body's defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease” (Durani). After this process is over the body then recognizes the disease and knows how to deal with it later on using B lymphocytes, which produces antibodies and protects you. This process is sped up with vaccinations, since the disease that input in you is weakened or dead the body has a much better time dealing with it and it still memorizes it and protects you in the future.
However, there are some effects that a vaccine can give someone, although not very many symptoms, vaccines after a day or 2 can have swelling, redness and pain at the insertion site and a fever or delayed reactions due to the body fighting the disease. These symptoms are normal, especially for younger children and older seniors due to a weakened or not fully developed immune system. “Depending on the vaccine, about 1% to 5% of children who are vaccinated fail to develop immunity.” (CDC). While it not common some do not develop an immunity but the Center for Disease Control also states, “But after 2 doses, almost 100% are immune.” (CDC).
If no one vaccinated their children or themselves then bad things would happen not only to the individual, but the communities or populations as a whole. As noted from before the vaccines protect you from harmful diseases from polio to the flu. By not vaccinating you put the individual at risk for the diseases that it wasn't exposed to before and therefore has not built an immunity. Diseases spread from person to person and because of that the more people who are infected, the more likely a healthy person is to catch that disease which leads to exponential growth as more infected leads to infecting even more.
When an immunity from a vaccine is present in a community it not only protects individuals, but it protects the community, “When most or all the members of a community are vaccinated then there is a very low chance the disease can be spread to those who aren't vaccinated even in other communities of people” (CDC). This ‘herd immunity’ can cause the disease to go nearly or all the way extinct, which is good for us, for example; early 1950’s 50 million cases of smallpox, just about 15 years later in 1967 there were only about 15 million cases of smallpox, and finally in 2018 there have been no evidence of smallpox being transmitted around the world except in 3 research facilities in Atlanta, georgia, and russia” (CDC). This is also shown in the rest of the extinct or almost extinct diseases like polio, smallpox, rinderpest, measles, and much more. If no one vaccinated the world would start to turn back to the past where the diseases would make a comeback and outbreaks would become more common like in the 16th and 17th centuries.
As of today vaccines are required to get into some countries like Belgium, France, Italy, and many more, but a problem lies within bigger countries like the United States were in 3 states, like California, where vaccines are required, but the other 47 have laws that people with certain beliefs can be exempt, and the United Kingdom where they are also exempt due to beliefs. The bigger countries have more people who can be exempt from vaccines due to bigger populations with a variety of beliefs and religions, Miriam Krule on the vaccination policies for religions says, “The only two religions that have any possible negative stance on vaccination are Christian Scientists and the Dutch Reformed Church” (Krule). Another exemption from vaccines is a medical reason, if a doctor or physician tells you that it would be unsafe or its unadvised for a vaccine, then you would not have to get one, this should be the only reason for not vaccinating, since if not doing it puts someone at risk then it should be required for everyone.
Government involvement with this issue could be the solution to the problem. As of right now different states in the United States have different laws and regulations for the requirements of vaccines, most states have laws that can excuse people with certain beliefs, like religious or personal beliefs. One way could have all the states unify their laws and have all the vaccines be required and have the government fund the vaccines. Another way could be having the state government fund vaccines to give to all the people or children and not make a law. Also the government could reimburse the people after they vaccinate to make sure they don't just take the money.
In conclusion, vaccination is a useful and safe tool that protects us from diseases that used to take millions of lives and now little to none, the protect communities and the world as a whole, and eliminate diseases that would of been a lot more common if not for vaccines which is why vaccines should be required for all people to better protect them all.