Should Vaccination be Mandatory?

Many parents are afraid to give their children vaccinations for multiple reasons. However, immunizations should become mandatory in order to prolong the existence of the human race and avoid the potential death of millions. The image I used represents the fear of vaccinations by many parents. The image not only shows the child screaming in pain from the vaccination, but also the mother seems to be in pain as well. The mother’s pain is represented by the scar on her forehead and the expression of agony on her face.
The doctor is portrayed as being unconcerned about the pain that her patient is in. The creator of the image attempts to scare the general public into believing that doctors purposely inject harmful substances into their patients and do not care about the consequences of their actions. Before stating why people should have mandatory vaccinations the arguments against it must be presented. Many argue that a child’s immune system can protect them from the majority of infections and viruses that children take immunizations for.
Others argue that vaccinated children have more health problems than unvaccinated children. Some say that vaccinations do not work at all. In order to get rid of parents’ fear of vaccinations they must be presented with all of the positives that vaccines provide. Viruses such as Cholera, the Flu and measles are some of many common viruses that can spread throughout a population quickly. It is estimated that “every 30 to 40 years an aggressive flu virus emerges, one that has changed just enough that people’s natural defenses are caught completely unprepared”(Edwards, http://health. owstuffworks. com/human-body/systems/immune/herd-immunity1. htm. ). To avoid instances like this, people should be obligated to be given immunizations. In a survey concerning whether or not immunizations should be mandatory, 69% of people who took the survey agreed that immunization should be mandatory. The majority of the 69% of survey takers believed that an individual should not have the ability to risk the health of the public by not receiving a vaccine shot(http://www. debate. org/opinions/should-immunization-of-children-be-mandated-by-law).

Vaccines have the ability to destroy and prevent many illnesses. For example, vaccination has eradicated polio and smallpox. A study by the Pediatric Academic Society showed that “childhood vaccinations in the US prevent about 10. 5 million cases of infectious illness and 33,000 deaths per year”( http://vaccines. procon. org/#background). However, there are people who refuse to receive vaccinations. Some individuals don’t receive vaccinations because they believe they will get sick by the vaccine or believe they are healthy enough to naturally resist most diseases.
Even though people are entitled to receive or not receive vaccinations, not being vaccinated can have serious consequences. An example of the necessity for vaccines happened between January 1, 2008 and April, 25 2008. There were 64 reported cases of measles and besides 1 of the infected persons, the rest were unvaccinated(Vaccine Refusal, Mandatory Immunization, and the Risks of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, p1981-1988). Many parents would also argue that vaccinations can cause autism in their children.
However, a study by researchers at the CDC and Johns Hopkins University proved the hypothesis that “thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative in vaccines, causes autism” was a false claim(Music, p161-167). Childhood vaccines have been proven to be 90-99% effective in stopping diseases according to the American Academy of Pediatrics(Mah, p1850-1857). Most people would also argue that since the majority of people are vaccinated, the chance of contracting many diseases is low. However, in order to increase the public’s chances of not getting diseases, “communities must maintain a herd immunity”(Edwards, http://health. owstuffworks. com/human-body/systems/immune/herd-immunity1. htm. ). Herd immunity is when a sufficient amount of people have been vaccinated to protect those who have not been vaccinated. For example, if 85% of a population is immune to polio, then herd immunity is reached(Edwards, http://health. howstuffworks. com/human-body/systems/immune/herd-immunity1. htm). Society also has to be aware that diseases that are seemingly no longer existent can reappear if people are not vaccinated as well. Vaccines also have economic benefits.
The CDC found that “every $1 spent on vaccination saves the public $6. 30 in medical costs”(Omer, p8). After the emergence of the chicken pox vaccination hospital bills related to chicken pox dropped from $160 million in 1993 to $66 million in 2001(Edwards, http://health. howstuffworks. com/human-body/systems/immune/herd-immunity1. htm). It has also been proven that a lack of immunization in a population can slow the development of a country. In conclusion, immunizations should become mandatory for all citizens. Viruses and diseases have the ability to move from one person to another