The Benefits of Vaccinations
In today’s news, vaccines have surely proven to be a controversial topic all around the world. We often see news articles or stories about vaccines and whether or not they should be required for children and for people as they grow up and mature. There is also an abundance of scientific, medical, and logical evidence surrounding the fact that vaccines are beneficial and that their prevention against illness/death greatly outweigh the rare negative results that frequently occur.
There are many pro’s and some con’s to mandatory vaccines but overall, vaccines have proven to be extremely beneficial to our nation and to the globe for several reasons. Not only do vaccines save the lives of billions of children across the world, but they also protect future generations and they stop preventable diseases from spreading. Vaccines have been an important part in our nations history due to many outbreaks that have occurred. Without vaccines I am sure that we would not be where we are today and that there would be a plethora of diseases and illnesses floating around.
Vaccines save the lives of all around the world and is often considered to be one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern medicine. A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. Without vaccines for diseases such as polio, measles, mumps, and many more we would all have to worry about contracting these diseases easier. These types of diseases take advantage of the immunization gap and thus causes outbreaks to occur in third world countries. In 2011, France reported a massive measles outbreak with nearly 15,000 cases. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Somalia suffered larger measles outbreaks that year.
In 2012, the U.K. reported more than 2,000 measles cases, and this was the largest number since 1994. Here in the United States, the occurrence of whooping cough shot up in 2012 to nearly 50,000 cases. Last year’s cases declined to about 24,000. With vaccines we can stop these diseases from happening. Here in the United States we take a shot when we are kids and we do not have to think twice about contracting diseases like this but some countries are not that fortunate(Doucleff, 2014). Vaccines have enabled us to finally live in a world free of diseases that have roamed the planet for millions of years. So why are we afraid to use them(Ruben, 2010)?
Vaccines are also shown to save lives in research done by the Centers for Disease Control. The Centers for Disease Control estimated that 732,000 American children were saved from death and 322 million cases of childhood illnesses were prevented between 1994 and 2014 due to vaccination. Without vaccines, over seven hundred thousand American children would have died. By taking a simple vaccine, we can prevent death and prevent the outbreaks of hundreds of diseases all around the world. Because of our ability to save lives, vaccine exemptions should honestly be taken away. It is ridiculous for children around the world to contract diseases or viruses because a parent doesn’t want them to take a vaccine due to personal or religious reasons. It is our responsibility to take care of our health and taking a vaccine is just one step we all have to, or should take.
As more people chose not to take these simples vaccines, we will see more outbreaks of diseases like we have in the past. The measles, mumps, and whooping cough will no longer remain dormant but instead will spread all over the United States. That is why vaccines are so important to receive(Feemster 2014).
Vaccinations are also beneficial because they not alone save our lives, but they protect future generations. When you are pregnant and you receive a vaccine, it is to protect your unborn children from contracting viruses that could potentially cause birth defects. One virus of rubella otherwise known as german measles caused the deaths of 11,000 babies, and birth defects in 20,000 babies in the United States alone in just two short years(CDC, 2014) Since we have vaccines, we can prevent things such as these from happening. Vaccines not only protect future generations through mothers of unborn children but they also just prevent disease outbreaks from occurring again that have already took its toll. These diseases go back to the chicken poxs, polio and measles. We already had these outbreaks and now through medical breakthroughs we can prevent them from occurring again. If we could stop these viruses from occurring and stop diseases from spreading then why wouldn’t we want to do that?
Another reason that vaccines should be supported is that they can protect your sexual health. If you are sexually active, than it is a good idea to have vaccines that will protect you against particular sexually transmitted diseases or infections(Hawkes, 2014) The first vaccine against HPV, which causes cervical cancer, came out five years ago. But now it has become a much more controversial topic because parents do not believe there 11 year old kids should be taking shots against sexual viruses. The two approved vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, are also designed to protect against a sexually transmitted virus.
Some people may say that there 11 year old daughters should not be forced to take these shots, but they are taking them for their own good(Knox, 2011) Yes, they might not be sexually active but they should still be prepared. With this vaccine they are obviously not condoning underage sex but they are saying that it is a good idea to be prepared. Some children do have sex at such young ages and rape does occur so it is always good to be a step ahead. It does not hurt anyone by having these girls take these shots a few years earlier than they begin to have sex.
Vaccinations also provide economic benefits for our country believe it or not. The Center for Disease Control estimated that between 1994 and 2014, that children vaccinated have yielded a net savings of over $1.38 trillion in societal costs(Gholipour, 2014). Also the United Sates saves about $27 per $1 invested in DTap vaccination, and $13 per $1 spent on MMR vaccination(Satcher, 1999). If vaccines were prominent in the world’s poorest countries then they would have economic benefits as well. Because so many people across the United States take these vaccinations, there is a huge difference in our economy and in our society overall. People may argue that we spend too much money on medical research but if you look at the facts than you will see that overall we have benefited from the use of vaccinations economically.
People who are against vaccines will often argue that the ingredients that are in vaccines are “harmful” to everyone who takes them. Some physicians believe thimerosal, an organic mercury compound found in trace amounts in some TDap, Hib, flu, and TD vaccines, is linked to autism. They also say that the Aluminum that is used in some vaccines and the excess aluminum in human bodies can cause neurological harm. But, if you look at the statistic, you will see that the ingredients in these vaccines are safe in the amounts that they are given in. Ingredients such as thimerosal and aluminum can be harmful in large doses but they are not used in harmful quantities in vaccines. People often like to use this as an argument against the use of vaccine but in reality, children are exposed to more aluminum in breast milk and infant formula than they are exposed to in vaccines. Obviously the ingredients in these vaccines cannot be too harmful if this is true(Heyworth, 2014).
Vaccinations across the United States have definitely proven to be a controversial topic but there is a huge amount of scientific, medical, and logical evidence proving that vaccines are beneficial and that there disease prevention greatly outweighs the few negative effects that may occur. Vaccines do in fact save the lives of billions of children around the world and also protect future generations from preventable diseases. If a disease was preventable than why wouldn’t we do our best to stop this disease from occurring throughout our human population? Vaccines have proven to be an important part in our nations history and have proven to be one of the most successful medical breakthroughs we have had so far because of the number of lives that have been saved because of them.
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