Government Mandated Vaccinations Versus not Vaccinating Your Children
The process of administering an antigenic material into an individual’s body in order for the immune system to build up a pathogen’s adaptive immunity is referred to as vaccination. The main aim of the medical process is to prevent or minimize any chances of the actual pathogen causing a disease in the individual’s body. Due to its effectiveness in minimizing infectious diseases in the world over, illnesses like polio, tetanus, measles, smallpox, and chickenpox have been largely restricted over history. Inoculation between live pathogens distinguishes immunization from vaccination. Specific diseases require vaccination at the formative stages of growth and development, while others usually encourage later developments. Vaccination is an important procedure in human life as it prevents loss of deaths and complications due to infectious and harmful diseases.
The government is mandated to enable a health policy, which affirms the need to administer vaccination to all the citizens from a tender age up to respective formalities, depending on the disease in question, in order to save lives, promote health, and maintain public health standards. The adopted policies have been in place over the years depending on one country to another and the type of mandate (Hays 11). In some nations, the government pays all the cost required in administration of the vaccination or part of according to a formulated schedule of national vaccination. Depending on the legislation, social values and agreed upon mechanisms, vaccination ranges from compulsory to voluntary on country-by-country basis. It is determined by the goals and effectiveness of the program.
Vaccination policies are aimed at producing immunity more specifically to diseases that are preventable. Further from jurisdiction on an individual’s state, vaccination policies strive to provide communities with herd immunity. Herd immunity is logically the aspect of making it difficult for a pathogen, which is disease causing, to be spread when significant populations of a community are immune to it (Ciolli 130). Protection is then realized in individuals who in one way or another cannot obtain vaccines because of age, health complications or have undergone transplants of organs. The national schedule is affected on the target population with monitoring on the numbers as well as administered forms by respective health practitioners and concerned officials to minimize any chances of the pathogen action.
Apart from disease prevention as a goal of government vaccination drives, disease eradication is a priority. Some diseases can only be eliminated from the face of the earth through regular vaccination efforts over time with the required results. For example, through a channeled and coordinated effort, smallpox eradication is a prime target of the World Health Organization. Other diseases that have been earmarked over the equitable length are measles and polio. Another objective of government-mandated vaccination is the reduction of a perceived risk through a disease. Ciolli (131) argues that vaccination on a rational individual aims at personal or family aversion of the disease. Instead, government mandated policies influence the optimal outcome from the disease at coverage levels thereby dealing with the disease in totality.
Vaccination in its part is not accepted by all people. Different and varied reasons are given to opting against vaccination of an individual’s children. One of the major opposing stances against vaccination is religion. Sherman (14) notes that notable Christian scientists and those of Amish category do not accept the practice. According to them, administration of a foreign material in their natural composition contravenes on their basis of belief towards their supreme creator. Secondly, vaccination on moral or philosophical grounds enhances the interference with genetic blueprint of a natural human being. The body has natural immunity and preventive measures in order to deal with any threat of attack from a pathogen in the environment.
Mandated vaccination does not respect the individual’s outright freedom as enshrined in the constitution. Harmsen and Mollema (7) argue that every human being has an equal right to personal decisions, choices over their lives as regards their wellbeing and general health. Therefore, resistance is offered when one is subjected to mandatory means other than persuasive and reaching of a common agreement on the issue. Vaccination in its part does not alienate human suffering when a disease infects the body of a normal human. In addition, there is no guaranteed perfect success in eradication of the diseases or prevention, once the individual is vaccinated. Such exemptions have been observed in nations that enable freedom of choice concerning vaccination in its citizens and preventive measures.
Vaccination is an important
procedure in human life as it prevents loss of deaths and complications due to
infectious and harmful diseases. It deals with the process of administering an
antigenic material into an individual’s body in order for the immune system to
build up a pathogen’s adaptive immunity. Throughout history, vaccination
policies have made it easier for humanity to minimize and almost eradicate the
effects of diseases like polio, tetanus, measles, smallpox, and chickenpox.
Despite the positive attributes of vaccination, the health policies offer a
government-mandated form as well as a personal choice. Ideal mechanisms and
solutions on the effectiveness of vaccination should be encouraged in order to
fight the threats of infectious diseases.
Ciolli, Anthony. “Mandatory School Vaccinations: The Role of Tort Law.” Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. 81(3) (2008) 129-137: Print.
Harmsen, Irene and Liesboth, Mollema. “Why Parents refuse Childhood Vaccination: A Qualitative Study Using Online Focus Groups.” BMC Public Health. 13(1) (2013) 1-36. Print.
Hays, J N. Epidemics and Pandemics: Their Impacts on Human History. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Print.
Sherman, Jill. The Vaccination Debate. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co, 2011. Print.