Vaccinating Children Should Be Mandatory

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It used to be that vaccinations were considered a normal part of childhood, right along with loosing teeth and toilet training. However, in recent years vaccinations have become an extremely hot button issue, with many parents actually choosing not to vaccinate their children. The idea seems preposterous considering how many people were left with twisted backs, and withered limbs due to polio, or the amount of deaths as a result of measles. To see someone who has been left in an iron lung from a disease that is now preventable, and still choose not to prevent the disease seems absolutely asinine, and yet many parents are doing just that. Sadly, much of the fear of vaccines stems from Dr. Andrew Wakefield, and his fraudulent research that linked vaccines with autism. Although it has been proven that Wakefield was a fraud – his medical license was even revoked – the debate rages on. It is incomprehensible that any parent would choose not to vaccinate their child. With the safety of all people in mind, vaccines for children should be mandatory.

Tyler Ludlum, a once healthy 10-year old boy, knows all too well the consequences of being unvaccinated. His carefree summer came to a halt when he contracted meningococcoal meningitis. Meningococcoal meningitis causes swelling of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord and is passed from person to person by exchange of oral and respiratory secretions. At the time he contracted the disease, Tyler was too young to receive the vaccination. Instead he was relying on those around him to be vaccinated. So, why are people choosing not to vaccinate? What could possibly be the arguments for not protecting your children, others, and yourself from deadly, yet preventable, diseases?

Vaccines are ...

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...tially over the past 60 years.

The fact remains that the amount of deaths attributed to vaccines are far less than the amount of deaths attributed to the diseases that the vaccines protect us against. This view is incredibly utilitarian, but if a few people have to die to save a thousand, it is worth it. Herd immunity protects those who are unable to get vaccines due to issues such as allergies to the vaccine, or immune deficiency disorder. If people choose not to vaccinate their children, they are actually putting the lives of those who cannot get vaccines at risk. We are not living solitary lives in this world so we must think of society as a whole rather than just the individual when it comes to health issues. From the perspective of what benefits society as a whole, we can quite obviously see that it should be mandatory for parents to vaccinate their children.
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