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Mandatory Vaccines: Good Or Bad Decision

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Do vaccines have no flaws? No of course not, everything has some sort of flaw. Some people tend to focus more on the negative parts rather than the positive parts of things, like vaccines. Vaccines’ positive parts heavily outway their negative parts. That is why vaccines should be mandatory. They prevent a lot of different diseases, prevent disease outbreaks in populated public places, and some people do not know what diseases they can get. Which means they do not know what vaccines would help them. Having them mandatory would fix that issue and would help spread awareness to others who don’t know about the disease.

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Despite what some people say, vaccines are not extremely dangerous. They are very closely studied and tested at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before they can be used on humans and the public. As stated by Laura M. Segal of Trust for America’s health, “ Scientific evidence does not support the excessive risk of serious adverse events in the use of thimerosal-containing vaccines despite theoretical possibilities. Careful inspection of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data about the association of intussusception with the Wyeth rotavirus vaccine suggests no increased risk.” This shows that the risks of vaccines actually causing serious adverse events are very slim. It has been studied very heavily and is scientifically proven to not be of increased risk. Some parts of the United States have already taken action and have mandatory vaccines. It has worked very well and there has already been a big difference in children catching diseases. As said by Lawerence O. Gostin, “Where mandates are systematically implemented, they virtually eliminate targeted childhood diseases that were once common. California, for example, experienced a major measles outbreak at Disneyland in December 2014… In 2016, the state enacted a law eliminating all out-outs for mandatory vaccination. Between 2014 and 2016, schools with the lowest vaccination rates saw an increase of 20% to 30% in kindergartners vaccinated.” As we can see, mandating the vaccine boosted kids’ immunization rates. Which kept any potential outbreaks from happening in California. This is a great example of how much mandating vaccines could help, and how all the public service announcements didn’t change the behavior of resistors but a single law did.

There are plenty of people that are very ignorant when it comes to the different diseases they can catch. Tons and tons of diseases are unknown to many people. One of those is a very deadly disease known as meningitis. There have been multiple preventable occasions where people have gotten meningitis. One example is when in October 2007, two Texas A&M University students were sent to the hospital in very serious condition. It would have very likely been prevented if Texas A&M made meningitis vaccinations mandatory for its incoming students. If the vaccinations were mandatory then if a student was not aware of the disease they would still be safe from it, would be aware of the disease from now on, and could help spread awareness to others unknowing of the disease. As stated by Katie Strickland (staff writer for the Daily Bruin), “ The vaccine guards against two of the three types of meningitis in the US, and protects 90 percent of those who receive it, according to the CDC, which recommends that all people between the ages of 11 and 18, as well as college dorm dwellers, get vaccinated. Yet most students I have spoken with do not even know what meningitis is and, therefore, never get vaccinated because they are not required to… Simply spreading awareness will not be sufficient motivation for students to seek out the vaccine on their own.” (Vaccines, Pg. 81-82)

Some people might not agree on mandating vaccines and not agree that they would help. Some people think vaccines are dangerous and unnatural. While there is truth to that and it’s understandable to believe that, there are a lot more benefits than negatives to vaccines. People talk about the bad events that have happened involving vaccines but not many talks about the good events. How vaccines have prevented millions and millions of kids and adults from catching harmful diseases. Of course, out of literal millions of people, some will have issues with vaccines. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that “most childhood vaccines are 90%-99% effective in preventing diseases.” That is a very high percentage of effectiveness, and people still don’t believe the right thing to do is to vaccinate their child. According to Shot@Life, a United Nations Foundation partner organization, vaccines save 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year, which is roughly 285 children saved every hour, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that childhood immunization prevented about 419 million illnesses, 26.8 million hospitalizations, and 936,000 early deaths of children born between 1994 and 2018. One of the most problematic preventable diseases, measles, has had its children’s deaths decreased by 74% because of the measles vaccine. This shows how much impact vaccines make in preventing deadly diseases.

As one can see, mandating vaccines helps a lot with preventing diseases, preventing outbreaks, helping people learn about some of the deadly diseases they can catch, and help with spreading awareness of diseases. Which makes it safer for everyone involved. As a society, we need to do more research and learn more about these deadly diseases and how to prevent them. We have already done that part and have found a solution and yet some people still fight against it. These mandated vaccines can help millions of people in danger of catching nasty diseases that are already preventable. More states need to look at California and see all the benefits of mandating vaccines by law. One simple law has the ability to help save tons of vulnerable people.    

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