Supporting Arguments For Vaccinations Literature Review Example
A vaccination is an artificial immunity provider which enhances the immunity system of children and adults to a particular disease. A vaccine is prepared by killing a microbe, its surface proteins or toxins and consists of an agent that is similar to the microorganism present in the disease for which a vaccine is developed. Through vaccination, the agent is able to stimulate the immune system of the body to recognize this agent as a major threat, harm and destroy it and keep a record of it so that if it attacks the next time, an individual immune system is able to easily identify it and destroy the contagious microorganisms. Vaccines are considered to be one of the most successful health accomplishment the health care industry has made especially the 20th century contributed for long life, improvised and affordable health care for millions of people in the country. The average life expectancy of people has increased from almost 44 years to 77 years with the use of childhood vaccinations (Byington, 2014).
The major issue that is concerned with vaccination of children, mainly the age group of 0-6 years old is that many claim these vaccinations are unsafe for health and the immune system of every child must be developed in a way to fight the germs and infectious diseases on its own rather than being dependent upon immunization. The vaccination provides immunity for children fight infectious diseases. My position on this topic is that I completely support the vaccination process and that they are safe, effective and integral to public health issues. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) that currently licensed vaccinations can control and provide immunity against twenty-five major infections. With childhood vaccinations around 42000 childhood deaths are prevented along with more than 20 million cases of infectious diseases. It provides benefits to the economy as it saves US$ 13.5 billion to direct health cost and almost US$ 69 billion societal costs (Byington, 2014).
Before vaccination was introduced, smallpox disease could be prevented by deliberately exposing the body to smallpox virus. In 1970s, people started focusing more on their health and health related issues with an increase in concern for the safety and protection provided by vaccination. There were many lawsuits that were filed by the general public against the companies that were manufacturing vaccines and doctors. There was a faction in public who believed they or their children had suffered injuries after being vaccinated. The damages were given to these people, despite the fact that there was no proper evidence to support that immunization caused these injuries that were claimed. As a result, there were many companies that ceased the manufacturing of vaccines. This resulted in a shortage of vaccination, and the health officials became concerned about infectious diseases that were epidemic and can specifically be controlled through mass immunization process. An act known as National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) was passed by Congress in 1986 which turned out to be highly beneficial in certain ways (CDC, 2014).
With the twentieth century, many new vaccinations were introduced for children, such as measles, mumps, polio, etc. With twenty-first century, the importance of these vaccinations has continued to grow (CDC, 2014). The major development is the vaccination for polio virus that was developed successfully in 1950, and smallpox was completely eradicated till 1970s. As the provision of vaccinations became common for the general public, people started taking them for granted, but these are effective for many important diseases are considered to be an integral part of 0-6 years of age group in children (CDC, 2014).
The vaccinations in childhood are recommended to be administered as early as possible to parents so that infants and toddlers are early protected from the dangerous diseases that can occur in early childhood stages. It is imperative that these vaccinations must be given according to the recommended vaccination timings and schedules in order to protect from the disease exposure. It is important for parents to know that children are exposed to dangerous organisms in an environment from the time of birth, which can cause infection any time and hence, delay of these vaccinations can turn out to be extremely risky and can result in serious complications in young children (Bond, 2011).
The successful launch of vaccinations is considered to be the major contributor to the drastic improvement in the health of people and life expectancy rates as well. In 1974, Worth health Organizations’s Expanded Program was launched on Immunization which played an important role in the success of vaccinations. EPI was able to develop and design standard recommendations, rules and policies for vaccinations as a general guide to immunizations, which were helpful in attaining the maximum benefits of vaccination throughout the world (Shingai, 2013). The child immunization schedule of US requires that an infant who are aged less than a year should be given nearly 26 vaccines, which is the highest number in the world (Neil, 2011). There are many countries that have added some more vaccinations in the list as the age increases in order to protect their children and adults from harmful diseases.
My position on this topic is that I completely support the vaccination process and that they are safe, effective and integral to public health issues. There are four supporting points in this regard - vaccinations do not cause autism, do not weaken the immunity of toddlers, provide economic benefits for society and support religious and psychological factors.
Vaccinations do not cause autism
An autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability in children, which is generally caused by major differences in functionality of the brain. Currently, the numbers state that there are 1 out of 68 children who are suffering from autism. There has been a long lasting debate that vaccinations cause autism in children. Various studies have shown that there is no linkage between autism and in receiving of vaccinations. One ingredient that is found in, vaccination that has been a major point of concern is thimerosal, which is a preservative made of mercury that helps in preventing the contamination of multidose vials of vaccinations. There have been controversies that thimerosal causes autism, but a study performed signified no strong relationship between autism and vaccination (Uno, 2015).
Till 2001, this ingredient was effectively removed from childhood vaccinations except the flu vaccines. The removal of thimerosal was done in order to reduce the exposure of young children from mercury ingredient. Currently, thimerosal is added only in flu vaccination, and current flu vaccines that are free of mercury preservatives are also available. Apart from thimerosal, there have been many other ingredients that have raised a hype in creating of autism but there has been no significant relationship that has been developed to support this issue. A study was conducted in 2013 which studied antigens that are substances present in vaccines that cause the immune system of a body to produce antibodies from vaccinations given during childhood, especially in the age of 0-2 years. The study revealed that amount of antigens that was received from vaccinations was same in children suffering from autism and that with no issues of autism (Taylor, 2014).
Do not weaken the immunity of toddlers
Before vaccinations were launched the only way to immune the body against a disease was a good luck and survive a dangerous disease. This was known as being naturally immune and with this a patient tends to suffer from different symptoms and complications which can turn out to be deadly if the symptoms continued. This way the diseases, can be passed on to friends and family members or anyone else who comes in contact with the patient. The myth that vaccines weaken the immune system of children is not true as vaccines help in preventing a disease from occurring rather than curing that particular disease once it attacks (Ronald, 2013). We all know that, it is relatively cheaper to prevent a disease than its treatment. According to one analysis in the United States, that for one dollar spent on vaccination, mumps, rubella, and measles, approximately US$ 21 is saved (Ronald, 2013).
A recent hypothesis in this regard is that proteins that are available in vaccination weakens the immunity system. The current recommendation for vaccination is that children must be vaccinated for at least fifteen diseases before they are six months old. Hence, the critics claim that the number of antigens that are available on the vaccine’s effect the immunity system of children. On the other hand, this hypothesis is not strongly supported at all apart from the fact that number of vaccinations have increased for younger babies. This hypothesis is full of flaws and parents must study the benefit of vaccinations and that they do not harm the immunity of children (Ronald, 2013).
Vaccinations not only protect individuals, but also protect other people around. When a person is already vaccinated against a disease he is contagious for a shorter time period or maybe not contagious at all, similarly when other people around you are vaccinated the chances of spreading a disease are considerably less. So vaccination does not weaken the immune system, in fact, they protect not only individuals, but entire community from infectious diseases. This is the main reason why vaccines are considered to be an integral part of childhood phase. A few examples will be illustrated, which will demonstrate that vaccines do not weaken the immune system, in fact prevent the spread of contagious diseases (Ronald, 2013).
As discussed earlier, smallpox was considered a major plague of the world. This virus was passed from one person to another through the air and resulted in scarring sores, pains, fever, etc., blindness and in severe cases resulted in the death of the patient. By the end of the eighteenth century, smallpox took almost 40,000 deaths annually in Europe. According to estimates, almost thirty percent of these cases resulted in death and the patients who survived suffered from a disfigurement that led to a rise in suicide rates. The rate of death rate was astounding, and there were more than three hundred million deaths and sufferers available across the world when the twentieth century ended (Chris, 2014).
The polio virus used to cause infection to at least 20,000 people every year in the United States. In 1955, polio vaccine was developed and almost after three years, the number of polio cases reported came down drastically to 100 cases. As of now the disease of polio has been eliminated from most of the world with some countries still facing the virus issues, but continuous vaccination is keeping the menace under control (CDC, 2014a).
Provide economic benefits for society
There are many economic benefits of vaccinating a child. There have been several recommendations that when children aged from 0-6 years are vaccinated timely it provides cost benefit to society as well as helps in cost savings. Children who are with higher risk conditions, when vaccinated at the right time can turn out to be more cost-effective with economic benefits, although it is easier to implement an age-based strategy. Lets discuss the financial impact of a common disease, influenza – an epidemic that is widespread. A reference paper provided studies from US, Germany and France stating that an annual cost of expenditure in treating influenza is between US$ 1 million to US$ 6 million per 100,000 population (Duncan, 2012). Even when the data is collected only from the United States it estimates that an annual account of influenza outbreak costs around US$ 10.5 billion of medical costs (CDCP, 2011) and imposes a severe burden on economy of US$ 87 billion (CDCP, 2011). A study conducted on children suggests that the cost of hospitalization related to influenza illness costs an average of US$ 13,000 (CDCP, 2011). The influenza vaccine has offered many economic benefits and has resulted in lower individual and societal costs.
Support religious and psychological factors
There are many religious factors that support and are against certain types of vaccinations – can support or provide alternative solutions to vaccinations. The religious factors that are based on a belief that one’s body is extremely sacred and should not receive needle pain, and external components and chemicals and the natural healing process from God must be trusted. Another major dilemma is the creation of vaccination from human cell tissues. For example, the Catholic Churches realizes the fact that vaccination is integral to one’s health, and they play a significant role in protecting people from infectious diseases. However, it also suggests that people must look for alternative ways and try to avoid unnecessary vaccination as much as possible so that the bodies are also immune to protecting from various diseases. The reason for this is that some vaccinations are prepared from human cell lines from fetuses that are voluntarily being aborted (Nate, 2015).
Arguments against vaccination
There have been many counter arguments that vaccinations are unsafe for children and children should not be immunized. One ingredient that is found in, a vaccination that has been a major point of concern is thimerosal, which is a preservative made of mercury that helps in preventing the contamination of multidose vials of vaccinations. There have been controversies that thimerosal causes autism, but a study performed signified no strong relationship between autism and vaccination. Most of the parents are refusing to vaccinate their children because they believe that vaccinations weaken the immunity system, and their child’s body must naturally develop ways to fight external attacks and diseases. Even though thimerosal has proven to be completely safe, and there is no particular harm caused due to a low dosage of the component in vaccination (David, 2013).
Many parents also reject vaccination because of other sensitive ingredients that are used to develop and preserve vaccinations such as Formaldehyde,s that is identified as a human carcinogen and is used in vaccination along with aluminum. Even though various researches have proven that these ingredients are at low level and do not pose any threat to children, still parents refuse to vaccinate their children. According to Larson, there is hesitancy in parents when they decide whether to vaccinate their child or not. Parents are hesitant to decide that whether their child’s body will be able to accept the additional load of vaccination or refuse it through autism or develop reactions to mumps and measles vaccines along with different types of allergies (Larson, 2014).
There is another concept in parents that some of the diseases for which the children are vaccinated are mild and do not cause any harmful long-term effects or death, so natural immunity is much better than vaccinating for immunity. There have been various researches that since every individual has different genetic make-up there is not evidence how long the vaccine immunity will last (Larson, 2014).
Vaccinations are considered to be an important invention healthcare industry has made in order to protect from epidemics and infectious diseases. The major concern with immunization of infants and toddlers between the age group of 0-6 years is that many people consider these vaccinations are not safe for health and do not provide any benefits. Another major issue is that these vaccinations are claimed to weaken the immunity system of children instead of strengthening them and children must be made to naturally strengthen their immunity system. My position is strong that vaccines are safe, effective and integral to public health issues. Parents must vaccinate their children to protect them from future epidemics and support the elimination of spread of infectious diseases in future generations. The different arguments against vaccinations have been proven void by different researches and parents must carefully plan their child health and their future.
Bond L, Nolan T (2011) Making sense of perceptions of risk of diseases and vaccinations: a qualitative study combining models of health beliefs, decision-making, and risk perception, BMC Public Health, 11: p. 943.
Byington C. (Aug, 2014) Vaccines: Can Transparency Increase Confidence and Reduce Hesitancy? Pediatrics Vol. 134 No. 2, pp. 377 -379.
Chris (2014) An Historical Examination of Smallpox Vaccinations: Past and Present Immunization Challenges, University of Ottawa, http://www.med.uottawa.ca/hstoryofmedicine/hetenyi/Historical_examination_of_smallpox_vaccinations.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) Prevention and Control of Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) History of Vaccine Safety, CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccine_Monitoring/history.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014a) Poliomyelitis Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, CDC http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/polio.html
David Newton (Mar, 2013) Vaccination Controversies: A Reference Handbook, ABC-CLIO, p.278
Duncan I., Taitel M. (2012) Planning influenza vaccination programs: a cost benefit model, Cost Effectiveness & Resource Allocation, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p10-20.
Larson HJ, Jarrett C, Eckersberger E, Smith DM, Paterson. (2014) Understanding vaccine hesitancy around vaccines and vaccination from a global perspective: a systematic review of published literature, 2007–2012. Vaccine, ;32(19):2150–2159.
Nate Madden (Feb 2015) Catholics urged to remember 'common good' in vaccine debate, Catholic News Service, http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/catholics-urged-remember-common-good-vaccine-debate
Neil Z Miller and Gary S Goldman (Sept, 2011) Infant mortality rates regressed against number of vaccine doses routinely given: Is there a biochemical or synergistic toxicity? Hum Exp Toxicol; 30(9): p.1420.
Ronald (2013) Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Bioethics, Concise Edition, Cengage Learning, Chapter 1, p.11.
Shingai M. and Eva R. (2013) Understanding interventions for improving routine immunization coverage in children in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review protocol, Journal of Systematic Review, p.2, http://www.systematicreviewsjournal.com/content/pdf/2046-4053-2-106.pdf
Taylor LE, Swerdfeger AL, Eslick GD (2014) Vaccines are not associated with autism: An evidence-based meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies. Vaccine, 32(29):3623–3629.
Uno Y, Uchiyama, Kurosawa, Aleksic, Ozaki (2015) Early exposure to the combined measles–mumps–rubella vaccine and thimerosal-containing vaccines and risk of autism spectrum disorder, Vaccine, p.21.
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