From the time vaccines have been introduced to this point in medical history there has been controversy over the morality, ethics, effectiveness, and safety of receiving vaccines. (Singer.) However, the overall effect of vaccines benefits not only the individuals who receive them, but the general population as well. Vaccines are a safe and effective method used to prevent a variety of diseases, and not getting such vaccinations can put not only the individual, but the general population as a whole at risk. Vaccines are very important to an individual’s overall heath, but are no longer being taken seriously. Many people today have opted not to receive vaccines for a number of reason, such as not being able to find the time, yet others refuse due to their concerns about possible side effects. The most common concern is the development of autism after receiving vaccinations, but there is no proven evidence linking vaccines to this development. Studies have shown that the development of autism is actually due to a preexisting condition.
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One condition in example, Mitochondrial Dysfunction, mainly found in children, may actually be to blame in some cases. This condition is triggered by immune stimulation that exceeds metabolic reserves, thus causing parents to blame vaccinations, claiming that if not for them acting as a trigger, the condition would have not been aggravated. In example is the Hannah Poling case. Hannah was a typical twenty-month-old toddler hitting the normal developmental milestones before she received five vaccinations on a single day in July of 2000. After the vaccinations, she became ill and her developmental progress not only stopped, she lost her ability to talk, began to withdraw socially, and no longer made eye contact. Within a few months, she was diagnosed with autism. When her parents took the case to court years later, the court ruled that vaccines had played a part in her autism.
Yet later, during a teleconference with the CISA, it was pointed out that the officials had decided her underlying Mitochondrial Dysfunction was aggravated by her vaccines, leading to fever and an immune stimulation that exceeded metabolic reserves. Therefore, it is even more important for children with this condition to be vaccinated, because a vaccine is less taxing on the immune system then a full- blown illness. (“ Vaccines.”) In addition vaccines can prevent more than twenty five diseases including; Anthrax, Cervical Cancer, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A,
Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu), Influenza (Seasonal Flu), Japanese Encephalitis (JE), Lyme Disease, Measles, Meningococcal, Monkey pox, Mumps, Pertussis (Whooping Cough), Pneumococcal, Poliomyelitis (Polio), Rabies, Rotavirus, Rubella (German measles), Shingles (Herpes Zoster), Smallpox, Tetanus (Lockjaw), Tuberculosis, Typhoid Fever, Varicella (Chickenpox), and Yellow Fever. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
And, the flu vaccine in particular, has become more appealing to the elder community due to the fact that they can reduce the risk of an individual experiencing a major cardiac event such as; heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure. It is proven that when one gets the flu, their body mounts an impressive immune response, which causes a lot of inflammation. As a result, the plaque inside their blood vessels can become unstable, which can lead to blockage and a possible heart attack or stroke. While changes in the lungs wrought by the Flu virus can lower blood oxygen levels, which makes the heart work harder. The virus can also directly injure heart muscle cells, leading to heart failure, or making it worse. (“ High-dose vaccine: Worth a shot?) Therefore receiving vaccinations is very important to one’s overall health, and the risk of developing a serious side effect is minimal.
Vaccines are beneficial not only to one’s health, but to one’s bank account as well. As a therapeutic class, vaccines are generally considered to be the health care intervention that provides the best value. Vaccine products are known to have provided more benefit to society than expense, and they have been estimated to save society more than $5 for each dollar spent on most routine pediatric vaccinations. In light of the success of vaccines to date, high immunization rates remain the key for society to continue to benefit from these preventive treatments. In demonstration of the financial benefit studies have shown the following: Savings in direct medical costs due to the eradication of smallpox in 1977 exceed $300 million dollars per year. One case of measles is estimated to cost 23 times the amount spent to vaccinate 1 child against measles. For every dollar spent on measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, more than $21 is saved in direct medical costs.
For every dollar spent on diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine, more than $24 is saved. For every dollar spent on H. influenza type b vaccine, more than $2 is saved. (Armstrong, PharmD, FASHP) In addition, an outbreak in San Diego resulted in twelve cases, (parents refused vaccination) forty eight kids too young to be vaccinated had to be quarantined, costing tax payers an estimated $10, 376 per case. (Kiera.) Thus showing that the money saved by receiving vaccinations is far more beneficial to tax payers than the alternative of not receiving said vaccines. Finally, it is most important to get vaccinated to protect no only one’s self, but the people around one as well. Just because a vaccine exists does not mean that vaccine-preventable diseases will eventually disappear. Many people are now relying on those around them to get vaccinated, and thus protect them from contracting a disease. However as the number of people choosing not to receive vaccinations continues to rise, so does the risk of an epidemic breaking out.
To not vaccinate is to threaten a range of people including the immunocompromised adults to newborns. While the argument of refusing vaccinations due to the worry of side effects has been made several time, it essentially has no support. Especially when supported by the fact that when an unimmunized child develops a vaccine-preventable disease, the child gets all the risks of such disease: 1-4 per thousand will die from measles, half will die from tetanus, 1-2 per hundred will develop paralytic polio, and so on. (Merino.) The judicial system has heard many cases against vaccines, yet has continued to rule in vaccines favor due to lack of evidence supporting the claims against said vaccines. In example, the court ruled 6-2 that a federal law preempts all design-defect claims brought in state courts by plaintiffs seeking compensation for injuries allegedly caused by a vaccine’s side effects. (Mark.)
Furthermore, it is very important for individuals to receive vaccinations in order to prevent contracting and spreading vaccine-preventable diseases. In conclusion, vaccines are essential. They are indeed a safe and effective method used in the prevention of many diseases, are more so financially beneficial, and greatly needed to prevent widespread epidemics. The rate in which diseases spread is outstanding, and can even travel from one country to another in just a matter of hours due to the fact that they are only a plane ride away. Thus furthering the need for widespread vaccination. Moreover, to not vaccinate is to affirm an overweening individuality. It’s a form of selfishness. (Arthur.) And putting one’s life, as well as others, at risk is simply unacceptable when there is a safe and effective method available.