Laws and Lifestyles A DEMAND FOR CHILDHOOD VACCINATIONS IN AN ERA OF “ANIT-SCIENCE”

The History of Vaccinations

Vaccinations find their origin in 1796 when Dr. Edward Jenner created the first immunization using a strain of the cowpox disease, which proved effective in eradicating smallpox. Soon after, in 1809, the state of Massachusetts passed a law that required for the population to be immunized with the hopes of obtaining a healthier society. Four years later, the National Vaccine Agency was created under the Maddison Administration, which encouraged a handful of states to pass laws mandating that all school aged children become vaccinated before beginning their schooling. Nonetheless, this arose tensions to build among people who who were opposed to vaccinations, and thus The Anti-Vaccination Society of America was founded. Soon laws mandating vaccinations were repealed and the government's stance on immunizations became much more lenient, ultimately leading to a problem that still persists today. ("Vaccines ProCon.org.”)

An 1802 painting illustrating the effects that people feared would occur would happen if they received the cowpox vaccination. People were concerned about gaining cow-like appearances and was a major cause for the foundation of The Anti-Vaccination Society of America.

The current Debate on vaccinations

Although people have now moved past the ideas that were initially feared with possible side-effects of immunizations, the precedent of opposition to them is still present. Many factors have lead to this "anti-science" approach, some of which include contributions from the media in addition religious, cultural, philosophical perspectives. Nonetheless, vaccinations should be once again mandated by the federal government to ensure the safety of the American people.

The Affordable Care Act and It's Impact

With the recent implementation of The Affordable Care Act, America has become a country that prioritizes the health of its population, and thus should enforce that citizens not only be required by law to have health insurance, but to also mandate vaccinations.

"Preventing Chronic Disease and Improving Public Health"(Affordable Care Act).

The Affordable Care Act is meant to not only allow for more affordable options over the concern of healthcare, but more importantly, it functions to serve the purpose of increasing the overall well being of the country.

"the most effective and ACHIEVABLE methods to improve the health status of Americans and reduce the incidence of preventable illness and disability in the united states"(The affordable care act).

If we are truly intending to move toward creating a healthier America, then we need to require basic standards such as vaccinations. If the government can make mandates about public health, such as requiring the population to obtain health insurance and access to doctors and medical procedures, they also should be able to demand the population to have a basic health standard for the protection of the country and overall good.

(Diptheria Cases 1950-2011. Digital image. ProConorg Headlines. N.p., 3 Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.)
As we can see, the number of cases and deaths from Diphtheria has drastically decreased since the introduction of the vaccination, proving that the health of the American population has increased. Because this is homogenous with the goals of the ACA, vaccinations should be required by law. (Diptheria Deaths 1950-2011. Digital image. ProConorg Headlines. N.p., 3 Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.)
The Current Position America Faces

Currently america is in a POSITION where IMMUNIZATIONS are not yet mandated on a federal level.

Vaccinations are required in all states, however, many of them, including Indiana allow for exemptions if the patient has medical, religious or even philosophical beliefs in opposition to the treatment. With recent media coverage and support from Hollywood, the number of children who are vaccinated has significantly decreased. For example, in the state of Indiana, although vaccinations are required by law, the average immunization rate for the completion of the highly recommended 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series for 19-35 month old children is only 56%. To maintain a healthy society, health reasons (such as a compromised immune system from other medical treatment) should be the only exemption to vaccination (Indiana State Department of Health).

Data shows that although the rate of immunizations for the 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series have increased over the past two years, still over 40% of the children in Indiana remain unvaccinated for a set of highly contagious and and possibly even fatal diseases. (Cameron, Kimberly. Summary 2013 and 2015 Indiana Assessment. Digital image. Indiana State Department of Health Immunization Division, 2015. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.)
Benefits of Vaccinations

Vaccinations have become a standard health practice because they are extremely successful in preventing many diseases and save a plethora of lives everyday around the world.

In fact, it is estimates that immunizations are 90-99% effective and it is because of this that over 2 million children are saved ANNUALLY from dying from easily preventable diseases (american academy of pediatrics biography).

The amount of childhood deaths from common diseases such as the measles has dramatically decreases by about 74% due to the rapid development of immunizations to treat deadly epidemics. (Estimated Number of Measles Deaths and Number of Deaths Averted by Measles Vaccination — Worldwide, 2000–2013. Digital image. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.)

Vaccinations such as the 4:3:1:3:3:1:4 series should be mandated by law because of how serious these diseases can be if a population becomes infected. One of the main vaccinations in this series is the Polio immunization, a disease that causes paralysis and often becomes fatal. This disease was a very large threat until the vaccination was obtained in 1955, and since then is no longer a worry in the American population. Also within this series is the immunization for tetanus, another fatal disease however, like the other diseases in this vaccination series, is extremely preventible by receiving the immunization in the suggested period of time. It seems ludicrous to risk ones own life or the life of one’s children when we have such effective techniques that will almost guarantee the safety and protection of contraction.

Not only are immunizations exceptionally effective in the population, but they are also considered to be extremely safe with little to no side effects. A key ingredient that is often found in vaccinations and cause worry are metal contents such as aluminum. Nonetheless, babies receive a higher amount of aluminum in each meal from breast milk than what is within just a single vaccination ("Vaccines ProCon.org.”).

“you are 100 times more likely to be struck by lightening than you are to have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine that protects you against the measles” (Vaccines procon)

Immunizations supported by many accredited institutions and medical boards including but are not limited to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association (AMA). These corporations are all viewed with the highest credibility and therefore their medical support for vaccinations illustrates just how crucial and effective they are in the population.

In addition to the effectiveness and safety that are prevalent in immunization, they are also beneficial for the future of the country from both a health and financial perspective.

  • Cost efficient: The cost of receiving one is significant less than if one were to become infected with a disease and then have to pay for the medical treatment. Often, common vaccinations are covered by insurance companies so the patient pays little to nothing for standard immunizations. Also, when children become sick, the parents must take time off work to care for their children, which often can lead to compromising their normal salary due to their absence. Because of this, the prevention of infections by vaccinations is a much more cost efficient alternative than having to pay for treatment in addition to the loss in income.
  • Time efficient: The time to receive an immunization is significantly less than the time it would take to recover from an illness.

In many underdeveloped countries, access to immunizations is extremely limited and because of this, provide evidence for just how crucial they are in our country. For example, Nigeria is one of these countries with a very small population that has received the polio vaccination. This caused the population to face a devastating outbreak in 2014, which is something that could have been completely prevented. In fact, Polio is basically nonexistent in the United States due to the discovery of the immunization in the mid 1950’s. Other outbreaks such as measles outbreaks are becoming increasingly more common even here in the United States due to low immunization rates ("Measles --- United States, January 1--April 25, 2008.").

Between the years 2000-2007, there were a mean of 62 reported cases of the measles reported, however, in less than 5 months, between January 1, 2008 and April 25, 2008 there were 5 measles outbreaks and 64 reported cases of the disease due to an unpredicted increase in the number of parents who refused to vaccinate their children. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

For a variety of reasons the population has moved away from vaccinating their children and this new “anti-science” approach is completely unnecessary. Immunizations have proven to be extremely effective, safe, inexpensive and ultimately are the answer to making America a nation where health is prioritized. By mandating vaccinations for all except those with valid medical reasons, we will truly become the global leader and restore the United States reputation on the overall well being of the population.

Credits:

Created with images by vjohns1580 - "medical record health" • Fæ - "The cow-pock - or - the wonderful effects of the new inoculation LCCN94509853" • BU Interactive News - "Obama Speaks in Boston" • Sam Howzit - "American Flag" • tpsdave - "washington dc c city" • PhotoLizM - "injection medical shot" • fdecomite - "Aluminium" • Ano Lobb. @healthyrx - "Spilled pills_1" • FDR Presidential Library & Museum - "48-49-315" • Chillsoffear - "vaccine syringe serum"

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