Mandatory Children’s Vaccines Argumentative Essay Sample
Congress should make vaccines mandatory for all children entering school for several reasons. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this issue in recent years; many parents believe the vaccinations have serious side effects while others are adamant about the inoculations because of their obvious health benefits. The government has yet to step in and the results have been dire. Parents are now allowed to negate vaccinating their children in many states, even as they enter school, under the guise that it violates their personal rights . In fact, all but two states in America allow this exemption, meaning all but two states leave entire classrooms of children open to contracting preventable diseases, starting epidemics, and possibly dying. Congress could pass legislation that would stop this if they acknowledged the known science stating that vaccinations do not cause the assumed severe side effects, but only protect the children who receive them.
As stated, many children do not vaccinate their children because they believe they will have adverse side effects. Specifically, many parents believe vaccinations cause autism and other mental disabilities. However, it has been proven several different times that vaccinations conclusively do not cause autism . In fact, the doctor blamed for beginning the rumor has since admitted to falsifying his data in an effort to scare parents into not vaccinating their children, as well as making his own research appear correct. Current research dictates vaccinations only protect those who receive them from serious illnesses, leaving those who do not receive them at the whims of nature .
Many parents who do not vaccinate also state they are unwilling to do so because it is unfair; their child is too young to choose to be inoculated and, therefore, they do not wish to take the child’s autonomy away from them . Typically, they agree that once the child is old enough to understand vaccinations, they will allow the child to choose for themselves. However, autonomy relies on the individual not being coerced into a decision. Therefore, this would require that the parents would give the child all of the information associated with vaccinations, not just the biased literature stating that a vaccination could make them autistic. Such arguments are, then, void.
Essentially, those who do not vaccinate their children are doing so under false pretenses, and they are putting the society as a whole at risk. For example, we rely on vaccinations for the herd immunity . Vaccinations where off after certain amounts of time, while others cannot get them for legitimate medical reasons such as allergies. These individuals often do not need to worry because the herd protects them; everybody around them has been immunized, therefore, the likelihood of them contracting measles or tuberculosis is very low. Each year, however, the number of unvaccinated children increases, consequently increasing the likelihood that herd immunity will be less effective in the future. Consequences such as these could be the start of epidemics, effectively killing us all.
In sum, Congress is in a unique situation concerning the vaccination debates. Currently, vaccinations are not always mandatory due to personal beliefs on behalf of the parent. While personal beliefs are important, in terms of the physical health of an entire society, they cannot be put first. Congress has the power to make vaccinations mandatory for school-aged children while also educating the misinformed on the fact that vaccinations do not cause autism. Passing legislation such as this would put an end to unnecessary deaths, strengthen herd immunity, and weaken the stupidity of many parents.
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Levi, Rebecca J. "Community, Authority, and Autonomy: Jewish Resources for the Vaccine Wars." Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics (2014): 173-188.
Schwartz, Jason L. "Evidence and Ethics in Mandatory Vaccination Policies." The American Journal of Bioethics (2013): 46-48.