Memoir Essay On Childhood Immunizations

Ever since the invention of the first smallpox vaccine more than two centuries ago, there has been plenty of controversy over the morality, ethics, effectiveness, and safety of vaccination and immunization. It has recently been argued whether laws should be introduced that render some or all vaccines obligatory for all children (Singer, 2009). Parents, health care specialists, nurses, teachers, and children all have an important stake in this issue. Parents argue that it is they who should have the ultimate decision-making right for deciding whether or not to vaccinate their children. Nurses and health care officials oppose that view on the grounds that by making vaccination rates in children incomplete, we expose all children to contracting the vaccine-preventable diseases. If this is a risk some parents are willing to take, but others face unwillingly, there is obviously a propitious platform for debate.

Every parent is concerned with their child’s health. However, this concern can take several directions. While some parents are convinced that vaccines have been invented to prevent the human-to-human transmitted diseases, which otherwise can have serious health implications on children and adults, other parents are certain that it is

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Introduction

Vaccines against diphtheria, polio, pertussis, measles, mumps and rubella, and more recent additions of hepatitis B and chicken pox, have given humans powerful immune guards to ward off unwelcome sickness. And thanks to state laws that require vaccinations for kids enrolling in kindergarten, the U.S. presently enjoys the highest immunization rate ever at 77%. Yet bubbling beneath these national numbers is the question about vaccine safety. Driven by claims that vaccinations can be associated with autism, increasing number of parents are raising questions about whether vaccines are in fact harmful to children, instead of helpful (Park, 2008).
Positives for Vaccinations For many years before the development of vaccines,…show more content…

Negatives for Vaccinations

More than any other matter, the question of autism has stirred the battle over vaccines. Since the 1980’s, the quantity of vaccinations that children get has doubled, and in that same time, autism diagnoses have tripled. In 1998, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist of London's Royal Free Hospital published a paper in the journal the Lancet in which he stated the results of a study that he did. The study consisted of a dozen young patients who were suffering from both autism-like developmental disorders and intestinal symptoms that included inflammation, pain and bloating. Eight of the kids started showing signs of autism days after getting the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. While Wakefield and his co-researchers were cautious not to propose that these cases established a link between vaccines and autism, they did imply, that exposure to the measles virus could be a causal factor to the children's autism. Wakefield later went on to conjecture that virus from the vaccine led to swelling in the abdomen that affected the brain growth of the children (Park, 2008). This study among others has lead parents to begin to question whether they should immunize their children or not. There are many people who feel that the immunizations do more harm than they do good. These same people believe that the diseases for which vaccinations are given are not something that they have to worry

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