Vaccination Requirements for Children

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It is always surprising to recognize the fact that microorganisms are all around us, because they are not macroscopically visible. The environment around us contains millions in the form of bacteria or viruses. Seemingly sudden, if you become infected with it, your body could respond poorly to bad bacteria and suffer various obstacles. As soon as the body senses an attack from a bad microorganism, the immune system begins to combat it and produce antibodies to prompt a quicker response in case the microorganism returns.

Vaccines come into play by imitating a mild form of the infection. The idea that a vaccination is injecting a weakened form of the infection and that a vaccine contains artificial chemicals frightens many parents. However, it is important to understand how a vaccine can benefit their child greatly. Health professionals should require that all children get vaccinations because it helps limit the odds at which they may get the disease, it protects members of the community by providing herd immunity, and it saves time and money rather than having to deal with the consequences of not taking action to prevent the disease from happening.

One of the greatest benefits to getting a vaccine includes how it protects someone from getting a severe case of the disease in the future. How a vaccine works is it creates an immune response as if it were to the real infection and can create memory cells so that it is able to fight off any future encounters with the infection. Without the vaccine for a specific infection, the body will get hit with a truckload of symptoms and may not be able to fight off the disease if it is strong enough. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.N. Children’s fund (UNICEF) report that approximately 3 million deaths per year are prevented by vaccinations against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and measles alone (2013). Just like any child, if those children were not vaccinated and encountered the disease, they may not have survived and 3 million lives would have been lost.

Another way vaccines can be beneficial is by providing herd immunity. Herd immunity works by providing indirect protection against a specific disease by immunizing most of the population so that individuals who do not have the vaccine are less prone to catching it through contact with others. For instance, young babies, the immune-compromised, and people who get chemotherapy are not able to process most vaccines. These setbacks can become a problem if the compromised are exposed to a disease through the people around them and can suffer worse consequences because they already have challenges.

However, if 75 percent to 95 percent of the population is vaccinated for a particular disease, the rest of the population is protected through herd immunity. On the other hand, if more people choose not to get the vaccine, but are physically able to handle one, they put their neighbors at risk of catching the disease and herd immunity would no longer be useful. This can wreak havoc on the community and cause a widespread of a specific disease, infecting those that could have taken measures to prevent the disease.

Furthermore, a vaccine can be beneficial in the amount of time and money saved early on rather than having to deal with the consequences of an infection once it is active and damaging. Many people save thousands of dollars from requiring medical attention just by taking a shot for a smaller price. For example, the cost for a flu shot can range from $0 to $40, depending on the child’s medical plan. Because influenza viruses are extremely virulent, this disease can be spread between humans through droplets when one sneezes or coughs. Mild symptoms include that of a cold, such as a fever, coughing, and a runny nose.

If it is extreme, someone with this disease may vomit, have diarrhea, or experience aches. If it becomes serious and complications arise, the individual may die. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study in 2012 and concluded that children under five years of age with the flu cost their parents an average of 11 to 73 hours of wages and $300 to $4,000 in medical expenses. Comparing the two costs, it is evident that the cost of the flu shot is far less than the medical expenses paid once the child was infected.

Likewise, 11 to 73 hours of wages was needed to be spent on expenses that could have been saved earlier on by taking action to prevent the risk of getting the infection. In addition to the time spent working to pay off medical expenses, the recovery time for a child should also be considered. A child requires a lot of attention, especially when they are sick. Parents may have to set aside more time for their child and may have to take off work sometime so that they can tend to their child. Though a vaccine may cost some money in the time being, it can help save medical expenses that are at risk of coming later.

Many parents who choose not to vaccinate their children argue that vaccines contain harmful ingredients. For example, aluminum and formalaldehyde is brought up for concern over if the ingredients are safe. Research shows that both components occur naturally in our bodies or in the environment at concentrations higher than those in vaccines. Even an infant’s body can safely handle the amount of aluminum found in vaccines. Likewise, mercury is found in one flu vaccine for children and other vaccines for adults and is linked to autism, studies have been done with larger and larger sample sizes of mercury and demonstrate no link between autism and vaccines.

The scientific evidence suggests that vaccines have an incredibly high chance of benefiting us and an incredibly low chance of harming us. In addition, when it comes to lethal diseases, it’s important to look at the big picture of how high the chances for a vaccine to benefit a person are opposed to the lower risk of it harming us. For instance, ever since the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine was created, there have been decreasing rates of measles, mumps, and rubella.

With anything there comes a risk, so it should not be a surprise that about one in six children can develop a short-lasting fever or rash the day they were injected with the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Additionally, a seizure can result, but is harmless and occurs at about one or two for every 1,000 vaccines administered. It is evident that the benefit of immunity from the deadly diseases far outweighs any short-term complications that may occur in addition to the vaccination.

Vaccinations can be overwhelming to deal with when many rumors go around and make it hard to decipher what the truth is about the effects it has on a child’s body. As there are no federal rules concerning routine childhood immunization, each state is left to legislate its own requirements. Parents of young children who have not yet entered preschool or elementary school generally face the decision of routine immunizations when they take their children to regular check-ups at the doctor’s office.

Parents who have less information may be unable to make well-informed decisions regarding whether to vaccinate their children. Though there is a risk that comes with vaccinations, parents should know that the risks are blown out of proportion. The safest guarantee for any child is that vaccinations can greatly reduce the risk of getting a specific disease. The requirement of vaccinations for children can help carry out safety precautions against diseases that can take toll on a child’s life later and establish an overall safer community.

Cite this paper

Vaccination Requirements for Children. (2022, Feb 10). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/vaccination-requirements-for-children/

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