Should Vaccinations Be Mandatory, Based on Its Pros and Cons

Infectious diseases are combated effectively and safely through vaccination. Vaccines are effective as up to 3 million deaths are prevented worldwide every year. Since the introduction of vaccines, diseases such as measles, polio, whooping cough, and other infectious diseases have been reduced and are almost eradicated (CDC, 2020). However, if people cease having vaccinated against various diseases, there is a severe spread.

A vaccine protects the person vaccinated and other people indirectly by reducing the population’s spread of pathogens. If the disease does not occur and few people are sensitive in the local environment, the infections will not spread quickly (Nuismer et al., 2018). Only if the coverage of vaccinations is sufficiently high can epidemics be controlled. They also protect people who are particularly vulnerable to disease due to chronic disease or related treatment. This phenomenon, also known as herd immunity, enhances vaccinated person protection (MacDonald et al., 2018). Vaccinated patients also indirectly protect those who cannot be vaccinated for their age or any other reason.

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Parental refusal is a growing source of concern regarding vaccine administration in children. Several research studies Sought to identify why caregivers chose to avoid or defer vaccinations for their children. While parents’ motives vary widely, four general reasons apply to all of them (CDC, 2020). Each of the four classifications is given a label of religious, personal, or philosophical beliefs and issues of safety and healthcare providers. Most parents recognize that they have concerns and questions about infant vaccines.

As a result, pharmacists and other healthcare providers can become better acquainted with the factors that inhibit patients from being open with their families to help facilitate their ability to disclose their issues to their families. Educating the public on the importance of vaccines and creating awareness of the effects of these diseases can help caregivers make good decisions about their children’s vaccinations.

According to recent studies, infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, and whooping cough are rising (Johnson, 2013). Several studies report that these outbreaks were caused by combinations of vaccine efficacy, decreasing vaccine immunity, and the intensity of close-knit virus exposure coupled with behaviors increasing the risk of transmission, resulting in increased infection rates recently (McKee & Bohannon, 2016). Compared to five years ago, these infectious diseases have had a bigger chance of infecting many people because more progress has not been made to increase vaccination coverage. At least 90% of those who are susceptible when exposed can get infected, and it is difficult to control once a disease outbreak begins in a low vaccine-rate area. According to (Ahmed 2007), mutational changes of some of these infectious diseases and the decreasing immunity of individuals have led to increased disease infection rates.

Pros

  1. Vaccines can protect children’s lives as they help boost their immunity, preventing them from infectious diseases (CDC, 2018). The analytics from CDC estimates that childhood vaccinations prevented at least a 415 million illnesses, 26 million hospital routine checkups visits, and close to one million child-related deaths
  2. Vaccines protect herd immunity or communal immunity (Ventola, 2016), which is the percentage of a population that must be vaccinated to provide herd immunity, thus significantly reducing the risk of a disease outbreak.
  3. Vaccines save both time and money for the children or their caregivers (Pasteur, 2015). The costs of a vaccine and time compared to attending to a sick child are lower than infectious diseases.
  4. Vaccinations ensure future generations are safe (Ventola, 2016) as mothers who have already been vaccinated guarantee protection for their unborn children from the spread of viruses that cause congenital disabilities. Thus, vaccinated communities can help prevent future generations of diseases.

Cons

  1. The vaccines can cause fatal side effects, which sometimes might be severe to the patients (CDC, 2020). According to the CDC, in about one per million children, all vaccines are at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
  2. Governmental actions concerning personal medical choices may lead to the oppression of individuals (Sonmez, 2019). Every family has the right to make medical decisions for their children. The right to govern one’s body is the most fundamental in a free society, and in a free community, people must exercise sovereignty over their bodies.
  3. Compulsory vaccines violate constitutionally protected religious liberties as various religions oppose mandatory vaccinations and vaccinations (Pelčić et al., 2016). “Congress shall not adopt laws respecting or prohibiting the free exercise of religion or the free exercise of the Constitution.
  4. The majority of diseases that are targeted by vaccines have gone missing (Greenwood, 2014). There are no reasons why diseases that do not occur are vaccinated. The majority of diseases targeted by vaccines are relatively harmless, making vaccines redundant in many cases.

Since the government is responsible for ensuring that its citizens are protected from avoidable injury and death, vaccination should be mandatory. Secondly, the state has a responsibility to protect herd immunity and the welfare of vulnerable people both directly and indirectly. Finally, unvaccinated individuals can help cause the spread of deadly diseases such as measles, which can severely harm susceptible people (Tulchinsky & Varavikova, 2014). It is the job of public health officials to prevent these outbreaks and protect the public.

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Reference

Ahmed, R., Oldstone, M. B., & Palese, P. (2007). Protective immunity and susceptibility to infectious diseases: lessons from the 1918 influenza pandemic. Nature immunology, 8(11), 1188-1193.

CDC. (2020). 14 Diseases You Almost Forgot About (Thanks to Vaccines). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

CDC. (2020). Making the Vaccine Decision: Common Concerns. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

CDC. (2020). Possible Side effects from Vaccines. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

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CDC. (2018). Why Are Childhood Vaccines So Important? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.

Greenwood, B. (2014). The contribution of vaccination to global health: past, present and future. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369(1645), 20130433–20130433. Web.

Johnson, S. R. (2013). A rise in measles and other infectious diseases has U.S. public health experts on alert. Modern Healthcare. Web.

MacDonald, N. E., Dubé, E., & Grandt, D. (2020). Considerations for mandatory childhood immunization programs. Canada Communicable Disease Report, 46(78), 247–251. Web.

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McKee, C., & Bohannon, K. (2016). Exploring the Reasons Behind Parental Refusal of Vaccines. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 21(2), 104–109. Web.

Nuismer, S. L., May, R., Basinski, A., & Remien, C. H. (2018). Controlling epidemics with transmissible vaccines. PLOS ONE. Web.

Pasteur, S. (2015). The Economic Value of Vaccination: Why Prevention is Wealth. Journal of Market Access & Health Policy, 3(0). Web.

Pelčić, G., Karačić, S., Mikirtichan, G. L., Kubar, O. I., Leavitt, F. J., Cheng-Tek Tai, M., Morishita, N., Vuletić, S., & Tomašević, L. (2016). Religious exception for vaccination or religious excuses for avoiding vaccination. Croatian medical journal. Web.

Sonmez, F. (2019). Sen. Rand Paul says government should not force people to receive vaccinations. The Washington Post. Web.

Tulchinsky, T. H., & Varavikova, E. A. (2014). Communicable Diseases. The New Public Health. Web.

Ventola, C. L. (2016). Immunization in the United States: Recommendations, Barriers, and Measures to Improve Compliance: Part 1: Childhood Vaccinations. P & T: a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management. Web.

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