The Importance of Childhood Vaccination Essays

The Importance of Childhood Vaccination Essays

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Since the introduction of vaccinations, medical science has managed to all but eliminate many formerly fatal and debilitating childhood illnesses in countries where the immunization of children is nearly universal. Diseases such as measles, mumps, diphtheria, rubella and polio have been relegated to a marginal status in developed countries with active immunization campaigns; smallpox is actually considered to have been completely eliminated from the earth, without a single case having been reported since roughly 1979 (“Childhood”). Largely centered around a study published in 1998 in the British medical journal “The Lancet”, there has been an upsurge in concerns of the safety of vaccinations and a resulting decrease in their usage. This has led to a somewhat anachronistic return of these diseases. In many developed countries, parents are relying on herd immunity to protect their children when they choose to forgo immunization over concerns about their safety. Herd immunity essentially means that when a small percentage of a social group “can't get certain vaccines for medical reasons, or some children are not able to respond to certain vaccines. For these children, the immunity of people around them is their only protection” (“Childhood”). While some parents' concerns over the safety of vaccinations are based upon the well-intentioned desire to keep children safe from autism, the act of choosing to not vaccinate their children actually causes far greater damage by exposing them to acquiring potentially life-threatening illnesses and removing a critical link in the chain of herd immunity.
Over the last 12 years, a growing population of parents have chosen to avoid immunizing their children with the misguided belief that they are...


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“Hazlehurst v. Secretary of Health and Human Servs.” 604 F.3d 1343 (2010). Leagle.com. Leagle, Inc. Web. 28 Oct. 2010
"Noncompliance with Mandatory Vaccinations Threatens Community Health." Should Vaccinations be Manditory? Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. At Issue. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 28 Oct. 2010.
"Vaccine Risks Are Outweighed by the Risks of Not Vaccinating." Should Vaccinations be Manditory? Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. At Issue. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 28 Oct. 2010.
"Vaccines." Current Issues: Macmillian Social Science Library. Detroit: Gale, 2010. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 9 Nov. 2010.

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