Your TV is constantly playing back to school commercials reminding you that it’s time to start the school year. Tomorrow is your annual doctor’s appointment which means that you have to get your required vaccination.
Out of curiosity, you begin doing your own research on vaccinations.
Vaccination is defined as treatment with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease while immunization is defined as the action of making someone immune to infection by way of vaccination (Dictionary, 2017).
In 1796, Edward Jenner was the first person to successfully use cowpox material to build immunity toward small pox in humans. In addition, Louis Pasteur created a rabies vaccination in 1885 which was a major advancement in human medicine (The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 2017). Since then advancements in research have contributed towards improving vaccinations and administering them to humans effectively.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are 5 very important reasons why children should be vaccinated:
1. Immunizations can save your child’s life.
In 1916, there was a major polio epidemic in the United States which caused death and paralysis. Because of vaccination there are currently no cases of Polio disease in the United States.
2. Vaccination has been proven to be safe and effective.
Although following a vaccination there may be redness or soreness at the site of injection, it is nothing compared to the diseases that can cause harm if left untreated.
3. Immunization protects those around you.
Since the year of 2010, there were 10,000 to 50,000 cases of whooping cough in the United States and 10 to 20 babies that were too young to be vaccinated died each year. It is important that those that can be vaccinated do it in order to protect those left vulnerable to diseases.
4. Immunization saves you money!
Children that have diseases that are vaccine preventable are often times denied by health care facilities and schools. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a program called Vaccines for Children, which includes information about funding for low income families that want their children vaccinated.
5. Immunization protects future generations
Smallpox once created a major epidemic worldwide, but vaccinations have made it so that children of today no longer need the vaccination.
You realize that many of the articles that you are reading are expanding upon the benefits of vaccination and how they outweigh the risks. This isn’t sitting well with you so you decide to do more research.
The National Vaccine Information Center says that some potential risks of vaccinations are:
Brain inflammation/Acute Encephalopathy
Acute and Chronic Arthritis
and unfortunately death if your body has an improper reaction to the vaccine (small pox, measles, polio vaccine)
A report published by the Institute of Medicine in 2012 stated that those who are affected by vaccinations already have a predisposition to being susceptible to negative effects. This means that the person may have had a previous illness that has rendered their immune system vulnerable or genetic factors may play a role.
In 2014, the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System disclosed:
1,244 hospitalization cases
416 cases of patients reporting disability
122 reported deaths
388 life threatening cases
(With a clause that says that there’s no proof that a vaccine caused these life threatening conditions).
After going through this information, you become a little worried. Why aren’t there more articles on the risks of vaccinations? Although majority of the articles advocated for vaccines, they can still present a risk to anyone! Now it’s time for you to weigh the pros and cons of vaccination. Do you go through with your annual vaccination or do you pass? The choice is yours.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child.” Vaccines.gov, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 11 Oct. 2006, www.vaccines.gov/more_info/features/five-important-reasons-to-vaccinate-your-child.html
HORTON, DR. KATHRYN J. “Why Parents Aren't Vaccinating Their Kids, According to New Study.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 29 Aug. 2016, abcnews.go.com/Health/parents-vaccinating-kids-study/story?id=41716915.
“Timeline.” Timeline | History of Vaccines, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 2017, www.historyofvaccines.org/timeline
“Vaccinations? Know the Risks and Failures - Diseases and Vaccines - NVIC.” National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), National Vaccine Information Center, 1982, www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Vaccinations--Know-the-risks-and-failures-.aspx
Sharockman, Aaron. “What CDC Statistics Say about Vaccine-Related Illnesses, Injuries and Death.” Politifact , Tampa Bay Times , 3 Feb. 2015, www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2015/feb/03/bob-sears/what-cdc-statistics-say-about-vaccine-illnesses-in/.