Mandatory Vaccines

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If we could prevent future epidemics, why wouldn’t we use the technology at hand to do so? Dr. Carl Sagan an American scientist at Cornell University once said, “Advances in medicine and agriculture have saved vastly more lives than have been lost in all the wars in history.” Today there is a great dilemma as to whether we should demand people to get a vaccination for a disease that is a major public concern. Despite the fact that there are minor side effects and it goes against a few people’s personal wants to get a vaccine, they should still be mandatory because the benefits outweigh the setbacks. It is justified to have compulsory immunizations because they protect the public, have no major side effects, and prevent future epidemics.

Vaccinations need to be mandatory because they protect the public and provide a society where all people are treated the same and given the opportunity to live a healthy life. First of all, vaccinations protect the public because there are no significant studies that show that serious side effects occur. In Britain, for every 10 million people who get the swine flu shot, there are about 28 cases of unexplained sufferers. "People die every day for lots of reasons, but we tend not to think about that when a mass immunization campaign is happening," said Steven Black from Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Another expert named Leonard Marcus of Harvard University's School of Public Health stated, "The greatest danger ahead is that there will be coincidental events between (swine flu) vaccination and adverse health events and people will draw conclusions that are not based on science.” Therefore, these severe reactions claimed to be from vaccinations, cannot be proven because vaccines are not the only factors in our lives that have changed. Studies done on the link from autism to vaccines have been proven to be untrue and false, and are now withdrawn. Secondly, deciding not to immunize a child involves much more risk because by not doing so, any others that come into contact with them are at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease. Lastly, they prevent people from missing days of school and work, because of sickness, helping the public economically and in education.

Vaccines defend the right to live as shown by some of the world’s greatest philosophers. Under, the Social Contract, citizens agree to give up some of their freedom to the government in order to allow the government to protect their fundamental interests. While they might ignore just one view in someone’s religion or wants, they protect the human right to life. The sanctity of life is above the wants and views of the people because you need to live in order have basic human rights. If one were to not get vaccinated, he could harm someone who was going to get vaccinated soon with the disease. Secondly, many people are too lazy to go out and get the vaccine by themselves. These people who are not forced to get the vaccine can get the disease and spread it onto others, potentially ruining their lives. If we leave it up to the people wither or not they get the vaccine, they could infect others.

Time has shown that vaccines prevent future epidemics and therefore help our country make progress. “Today we don’t see cases of past diseases such as smallpox because the vaccine for it was made mandatory by the government and it was eradicated,” said Dr. Samuel L. Katz, one of the inventors of the measles vaccine. Also, there was an outbreak of H1N1 around the 1980s, but because vaccines were not made mandatory, a pandemic has occurred worldwide today. Secondly, diseases have the ability to mutate. On November 20, Norway’s Institute of Public Health discovered a mutated form of the H1N1 influenza virus that may make it more able to infect people and cause more severe disease. Thirdly, many claim that vaccines get people sick, however, vaccines are continually monitored for safety, but like any medication, they can cause minor side effects such as a sore arm for a few minutes after the vaccination. On rare occasions the person who was vaccinated gets sick, however, this is a much weaker form of the disease and will usually only last for a short period. The end result is still becoming immune for the future generations. Lastly, preventing a disease uses fewer resources than treating one. We use scarce medical supplies such as medicines, money, and even hospital space when we get sick. It is not self responsible to not get a vaccine for a preventable disease and take up the resources we could use to try to treat another disease.

Illnesses are constantly being spread and because compulsory vaccinations protect society, have minor setbacks, and prevent the disease from occurring in future generations, we ought to use them. As I have shown, they must be mandatory for the good of the people and cannot be taken whenever someone wants to. It is responsible to use the technology we have available to prevent harmful diseases from reoccurring.





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allybymyself said...
Oct. 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm

This is a well written article, although I do not agree with mandatory immunization. It seems to me that if vaccines become mandatory what is next? Mandatory operations and procedures?

Vaccines may protect but they also can cause serious sideffects. Many people have died because of something they thought would protect them. Vaccines save people but they also kill.

 
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