Since ensure the safety and health of people.

Since the introduction of the vaccine in 1796, there have always been skeptics who doubt the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. Although many people have already claimed that they are anti-vaccination, the vast majority of the population supports the administration of vaccines, and have many reasons for doing so. Although vaccines have been proven to reduce the rate of preventable diseases and have been shown to be safe, there remains a minority in the population that is strongly against vaccines. In recent years, this minority has grown and has had an influence on the public, media, and government. Currently, vaccines are mandatory in the United States for children in order to enter school, but different states have different types of exceptions, including medical, religious, and perhaps the most controversial, philosophical. There is a discussion about whether the laws governing the administration of vaccines should be changed. Many believe that the current policy is lenient, and should be made stricter to protect citizens. On the other hand, others believe that the current policy is too strict, and should be more tolerant in order to respect freedom of choice. As a result of this conflict and its inability to be solved, more and more people fall ill and even die due to these diseases every year. Vaccine laws should be stricter than they are now because it is safer to be immunized through vaccines than to not be. Vaccines have been proven to be safe, causing little to no harm to a person’s health. It is worth noting that much detail goes into making sure that vaccines are safe for the person getting vaccinated, as stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), a global organization that works with governments to ensure the safety and health of people. According to the WHO, “Any licensed vaccine is rigorously tested across multiple phases of trials before it is approved for use.… Scientists are also constantly monitoring information from several sources for any sign that a vaccine may cause an adverse event (Questions and).” The safety of vaccines is ensured constantly throughout the discovery and manufacturing process through intense inspection and testing, ensuring that vaccines cause as little harm as possible. Although some vaccines have side-effects, studies have shown that they are quite minor and rare. The Center for Disease and Control is a federal organization that advocates for the promotion of health and prevention of illness and diseases. It has conducted studies on the risk factor of multiple vaccines, including one of the most controversial ones, the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, which many anti-vaccination supporters claim cause adverse side-effects. According to the CDC, Severe allergic reactions to the MMR vaccine occur in “less than 1 out of a million doses” with the more common side-effects being fever and rashes, which are labeled by the organization  as “mild problems.” The CDC claims that “the risk of MMR vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small… Most people who get MMR vaccine do not have any serious problems with it (Vaccines &).” The chances of obtaining serious side effects from vaccines like the MMR is very low and improbable, making vaccines relatively harmless in the large majority of cases. In addition, the more common side effects are considered to be quite minor, further proving that if there are side-effects, they will most likely cause little to no harm. Being immunized is statistically safe, and does not pose any major threat to a person or a population of people. There should be no objection to stricter vaccine laws on the basis that they are detrimental to a person’s health. More important than being safe, vaccines have been proven to be effective in preventing the contraction of diseases for an individual and a whole community alike. Historically, vaccines have successfully lowered the number of cases of diseases and even completely wiped them out. One example would be the Polio vaccination, where “in 1952 there were 57,879 cases of paralytic polio in the U.S. By 1961, just six years after the vaccine was introduced, the number was 1,312—a 98% reduction. Today the figure is zero (Kluger).” For polio in the United States, the introduction of the polio vaccine largely altered the number of cases of polio over less than a decade. This statistic shows the effectiveness of vaccines in their ability to reduce the contraction rate of these diseases significantly. Less than ten years after the polio vaccine was introduced, another deathly disease, measles, had a vaccine introduced that could easily prevent it. According to the CDC, “before the U.S. measles vaccination program started in 1963, about three to four million people in the United States got measles each year. In the United States, the … use of the vaccine has led to a 99-percent reduction in measles cases (Reemergence of).” Like polio, the introduction of the measles vaccination led to a large reduction in contracting measles from the thousands of people who contracted it before the vaccination was introduced. The large decrease in those who contracted measles after the vaccine was introduced shows how the administration of vaccines effectively prevented the contraction of said diseases. Vaccines are effective in protecting those who become immunized from contracting certain diseases. Vaccine laws should be stricter because the effectiveness of vaccines shows that being immunized can protect citizens from contracting diseases, keeping individual citizens as well as populations within America healthy. Yet, there is a simple condition that applies to the effectiveness of vaccines. To prevent the spread and contraction of preventable diseases for everyone in the community, a large majority of the population must be immunized. As cited in Jeffrey Kluger’s article, “Who’s Afraid of a Little Vaccine?,” it has been found that “vaccination rates must remain very high—up to 95% in some cases” in order to maintain the stability of a scientific phenomenon known as “herd immunity,” which Kluger defines as “the protection provided by an entire community to the handful of people who can’t be vaccinated because of a demonstrable medical condition (Kluger).” About 5% of the population is unable to vaccinate due to medical reasons, which means that in order to ensure their safety, the other 95%, the vast majority, must remain vaccinated. There is a plethora of specific cases throughout the country where diseases can only be effectively prevented if the majority of the population manages to stay vaccinated. Lisa Aliferis’ article for the National Public Radio highlights the story of Rhett Krawitt, a young boy in coastal California that is recovering from chemotherapy. He is unable to be vaccinated to to medical reasons, and thus relies of the vaccinations of others to keep himself safe through herd immunity. His father, Carl Krawitt, explains why the vaccination of others are important for his son and others in his son’s position. He claims that “if your child gets sick due to not being immunized and gets my child sick and my child dies, then … your action has harmed my child (Aliferis).” Here, Krawitt shows how fragile the dependency on herd immunity can be, and the importance of vaccinating. Vaccines need to be administered to a large majority of the population in order to maintain herd immunity and protect a small percent of the population that is unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons. The law could be made stricter to only allow medical exemptions. Philosophical objections are an extra fraction of the population that is healthy enough to be vaccinated but chooses not to, which disrupts the percentage needed to obtain herd immunity. Doing harm to another person by allowing someone with a medical exemption to fall ill should be against the law. Although it is not often considered, vaccines protect people from the contraction of well-known and prevalent diseases as well as the contraction or eradicated or rare diseases. Vaccines are one of the only ways that the reemergence of eradicated/rare diseases can be prevented. The CDC claims that “Even small numbers of cases can lead to the re-emergence of VPDs if we have increasing numbers of unvaccinated people (The Reemergence).” Vaccinating decreases the likelihood that diseases are spread, which can prevent the re-emergence of illnesses. Perhaps the most frightening proposition is that if less and less citizens become immunized, dangerous diseases that are rare or eradicated may re-emerge and spread quickly. Unfortunately, it appears that this is already occurring. Recently, there was a measles outbreak that occurred in Disneyland, which was reported by Matthew Herper in his article for Forbes, “Is The Disneyland Measles Outbreak A Turning Point In The Vaccine Wars?” He found that, “We’re also likely to face 28,000 cases of whooping cough … because of patients who don’t get vaccinated but also because the new vaccine adopted in the 1990s is less effective than the old one (Herper).” The re-emergence of whooping cough in our country is a prime example of a disease that is close to eradication but may re-emerge from a recent increase in refraining from vaccinating. Re-emergence of rare or eradicated diseases is foreseeable in the future if vaccines are not administered regularly. Stricter vaccine laws are needed to make sure that citizens are vaccinated in order to prevent the re-emergence of eradicated and rare preventable diseases. If vaccines are not encouraged through law, many may not be immunized, which will increase the chances of dangerous diseases re-emerging in the United States. This re-emergence would lead to a greater chance of contracting a disease, which would put the safety of our citizens in danger.Many believe that vaccines may be detrimental to one’s health and that they are not worth the risk to take vaccines. It can be argued that the chance of obtaining a disease is so small that taking a vaccine would give a greater chance of becoming sick due to its side effects. Julie Snoeberger, a mother of two who is strongly against vaccines, was interviewed in Jeffrey Kluger’s  TIME article, “Who’s Afraid of a Little Vaccine?” She said that “the MMR vaccine transformed him within 48 hours from a happy, verbal child to one who was violent, antisocial and had ‘lost all his words.” She claimed that her “son developed signs of autism.” The side effects of vaccines can be destructive and cause a number of health problems, including autistic behaviors, which have been the center of attention in the vaccination argument. When compared to actually contracting the illness, it can be argued that being vaccinated leads to poorer health due to the severity of cases like these. What would the country gain if more people are mandated to be vaccinated by stricter laws if these vaccines do more harm than good? Firstly, although there are some serious side effects to vaccines, they aren’t common. As mentioned previously by the CDC, extreme reactions to vaccines rarely occur. In addition, it is often difficult to be sure that these side effects and symptoms are caused by the vaccine for a number of reasons. It was found in “Who’s Afraid of a Little Vaccine” that the age in which many children get the MMR vaccine is around the age when signs of autism arise, and many scientists claim that this is simply a coincidence. The side effects caused by vaccines are rare and may not even be caused by vaccines, thus showing that the administration of vaccines is nowhere near as dangerous and harmful as many claim. The low-risk factor of vaccines make them a safe option for disease prevention, and in turn makes the idea of making vaccine laws stricter a better idea. Vaccines should be strictly mandated by law because they are less likely to cause serious conditions than not vaccinating; if we have the country in our best interest, it should be clear that making more people vaccinate will protect citizens.The issue on vaccines and how strict the policies pertaining to vaccines should be is a difficult and controversial one. Our inability to find a solution that pleases all causes the suffering and death of many. Although the dispute remains, I believe that our country would benefit from enforcing stricter vaccine laws because it is safer to be immunized than to not be. In terms of health and safety of individuals and whole populations, having more people vaccinated would be more beneficial. Thus, stricter vaccine laws are needed to ensure that the majority of citizens are vaccinated, and that the majority of citizens are protected from vaccines. A solution would be making the vaccine laws stricter in order to eliminate philosophical consensus objection. Those who can vaccinate but choose not to put the safety and health of themselves as well as others at risk. In order to maintain optimal health, more people should be vaccinated.

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