Essay Vaccination Impact Throughout History

Essay Vaccination Impact Throughout History

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Although, vaccinations have been around for a long time, the great controversy surrounding the uses were substantially less when first accepted. Over time, vaccines have been created for diseases such as polio, small pox, chicken pox, the common flu; as well as being improved and continually updated. Prior to the development of vaccines, diseases were a great concern to the people due to their wide and rapid spreading. Vaccines became very popular and were believed to be essential in order to maintain a healthy society. The amount of people suffering from many of the diseases that vaccines now exist for has significantly gone down since vaccines inception. In fact, vaccines have even been said to be one of the greatest public health achievements of the last century according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
However, what is often unknown, or at least not acknowledged, is the concurrent role of improved sanitation and public hygiene. Sanitation and public hygiene were also improving drastically during the same time as the vaccines were becoming popular. The Salk vaccine is commonly believed to be responsible for the halting the polio epidemics that plagued American children in the 1940’s and 1950’s. However, this is so, then why around the same time, did the epidemics also end in Europe where the polio vaccine was not extensively used? If one is to look at a graph of polio case activity before and after its vaccine introduction, polio was already on the decline when vaccines were introduced. (Mendelsohn)
While vaccinations may or may not have been effective in reducing or eliminating some deadly diseases during the past century, the question still remains about who should decide what foreign substances should ...


... middle of paper ...


...ident in the choice of not vaccinating. We should be allowed to care for our own bodies and health in whatever way we feel is best.



Works Cited
US Department of Health and Human Services. 2nd ed. I. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 2000. Healthy People 2010.
"Vaccines: By the Numbers." Issues & Controversies. 9 Feb. 2007. Facts On File News Services. 19 Nov 2009.
Hinman, Alan R; Orenstein, Walter A; Williamson, Don E; Darrington, Denton. "Childhood immunization: Laws that work." Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. 01 Oct 2002. 122. eLibrary. Proquest CSA. EDUCATIONAL SERVICE DIST 101. 19 Nov 2009.
Mendelsohn, Robert S. How to Raise a Healthy Child. New York: Ballantine Books, 1984.
"Risk Factors Associated with Major Vaccines." Issues & Controversies on File 9 Feb. 2007. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services. 28 Oct 2008.

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