Research Paper: Good and Bad of Vaccines

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Vaccine -- Pros and Cons

Vaccines: The Pros and Cons

There are a number of arguments being made about vaccines, and whether they are safe and effective for infants and toddlers. Those who believe in them address the issue of disease prevention, while those who are against them state that vaccines are dangerous and that they cause health problems like autism (Elliman & Bedford, 2004). Some studies seem to show a link and others fail to do that, so there are continuing arguments on both sides of the equation. With that in mind, it is important to delve into the issue more directly, and work to determine why either side feels the way it does. This is a very sensitive issue, as it affects children -- and the majority of parents are extremely protective of their children and only want what is best for them. As they work toward protecting their children, some of them follow the CDC requirements for a vaccine schedule, and others choose to avoid vaccines based on their own concerns. With legitimate arguments on both sides, the issue can be complex.

The Case for Vaccination

Parents who believe that the CDC schedule for vaccination of infants and toddlers should be followed make a persuasive argument. The main point on which they focus is that vaccines save lives (Herlihy, Hagood, & Offit, 2012). Diseases like measles and mumps can be quite serious for anyone, and that is especially true of very young children who may not yet be strong enough to fight off these kinds of illnesses. If they are vaccinated against them, they have a much greater chance of avoiding the illnesses altogether. Additionally, they do not pass the illness on to others -- so that protects other people's lives, as well. Because some people have compromised immune systems, they work hard to avoid getting sick. When they are exposed to unvaccinated people, they raise their risk of illness significantly (Herlihy, Hagood, & Offit, 2012).

Adhering to a vaccination schedule is not just about making sure an infant or toddler does not get sick. It is also about making sure others around him or her are not exposed to serious and potentially fatal diseases that could have easily been avoided (Herlihy, Hagood, & Offit, 2012). This is a big part of the reason why schools require children to be vaccinated before they can be part of the student body. While there are waivers that can be granted, the majority of school children must have their vaccines before they can attend. These vaccines start when the child is just an infant, and there is a schedule of boosters to be followed in order to make sure the child develops the proper amount of immunity to the disease for which the vaccines are designed (Elliman & Bedford, 2004). That is very important for the children and those around them, since partial immunity is not acceptable. If a person is not fully immune, the vaccine is not going to be effective. Booster vaccines are generally required, and parents must make sure they get them for their children. Keeping those children safe is their number one priority.

Before vaccines were readily available, a higher number of children died or were left with serious consequences from diseases that have nearly been eradicated in developed countries today (Herlihy, Hagood, & Offit, 2012). These vaccines help far more people than they harm, and they reduce the risk of a serious disease spreading among the population (Herlihy, Hagood, & Offit, 2012). Once a disease takes hold, it can be devastating for the people who are ill, and because so many people live in close proximity to one another -- such as in major urban areas -- they are more easily able to spread a disease from one person to another. Vaccines, however, break that cycle of disease and do not allow it to spread, which means something that could have turned into a pandemic was, instead, an isolated case or a small pocket of illness in a very minute segment of the population. Parents who vaccinate their children on the CDC schedule believe they are doing what is right for their children and for the good of society, as well.

The Case Against Vaccination

As with every issue of any importance, there are two sides. The other side here is the parents… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Good and Bad of Vaccines.  (2014, April 27).  Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/good-bad-vaccines/1839887

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"Good and Bad of Vaccines."  Essaytown.com.  April 27, 2014.  Accessed June 18, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/good-bad-vaccines/1839887.