Not having children vaccinated is a huge risk. Matthew Daley is a pediatrician and researcher at Kaiser Permanente's Institute for Health Research in Denver, and Jason Glanz is an epidemiologist there as well. Together they wrote an article for Scientific American called “Straight Talk About Vaccination.” They write, “We found that unvaccinated children were roughly 23 times more likely to develop whooping cough, 9 times more likely to be infected with chickenpox, and 6.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with pneumonia or pneumococcal disease than vaccinated children from the same communities.” There is an alarming rate of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. The National Vaccine Information Center is the go to spot for educating yourself about vaccinations. In an article about vaccine exemption, they write, “All states allow for some type of exemption from vaccination or revaccination.” The three exemptions include medical, religious, and personal belief. The fact that these options leave children susceptible to deadly illnesses is frightening. I am arguing that these exemptions should be eliminated and that all children should be required to be vaccinated before entering school with other children.
The standard way of thinking about vaccination has it that it is a necessary procedure to keep our children safe. Though many agree with my view point, there are still several that challenge it. ProCon.org is the leading source for pros and cons of controversial issues. They have an article entitled, “Should Any Vaccines Be Required For Children?” There are many cons to this issue that parents use as their arguments. One of these being, “Vaccines can cause serious and sometimes fatal side effects…” Some of these include anaphylactic shock, intussusception, long-term seizures, coma, and lowered consciousness, just to name a few. This is a valid argument, but a pro that counteracts this is, “Vaccines eradicated smallpox and have nearly eradicated other diseases such as polio.” Vaccines continue to save lives by creating immunity to illnesses. Many people believe that vaccines cause autism, but this theory has been disproved many times. Matthew Daley and Jason Glanz explain how this false tale came to be in their article for Scientific American. A scientist named Andrew J. Wakefield used false data in his published article in the Lancet to convince people that the measles vaccine causes autism. Wakefield’s dishonestly led to many people not vaccinating their children despite the fact that there is no evidence vaccines cause autism.
This issue is important to me because of a personal experience. There was a large measles outbreak in the Midwest and West in 2011. This frightened me because my half-sister lives out in that direction, and she is a special education teacher for elementary students. I was worried about her students contracting these illnesses if their parents neglected to vaccinate them. Luckily, none of the outbreaks reached my half-sister’s area, and all of her kids remained healthy.
There’s no denying the dangers that arise when parents resist vaccinations. Their children could become very ill and die. To me, the pros outweigh the cons of vaccinations hugely. I’m astounded that these exemptions are still in effect. Something needs to be done in order to protect the children of our nation, and I propose eliminating exemptions to vaccinations. So, President, the safety of our children is up to you, and I ask that you please consider my argument.
Seth L. Shepard
Daley, Matthew F., and Jason M. Glanz. "Straight Talk about Vaccination." Scientific American. N.p., 11 Aug. 2011. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
"Vaccine Exemptions FAQs - NVIC." National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
"Vaccines ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.