Dear Future President of the United States,
With the introduction of vaccines over 200 years ago, scientists have created a simple way to protect your children from suffering from diseases that once “plagued” our nation. Your policies should educate, as well as build awareness of the importance of vaccines, and create a federal policy to make vaccines mandatory in order to attend school.
In 1796, Edward Jenner introduced a smallpox vaccination, that not only prevented the illness, but also marked it as the first and so far only fully eradicated disease. This success influenced a new era, the vaccination era. “Two hundred years after the discovery of vaccine by the English physician Edward Jenner, immunization can be credited with saving approximately 9 million lives a year worldwide.” (Vaccines Under Control) Edward’s success especially protects children, due to their proneness of receiving transmittable diseases and their risk of fighting infection due to their weak immune systems, “In the United States, infants and young children are currently vaccinated against 11 diseases: diphtheria, Haemophilus inﬂuenzae type b, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, pertussis, poliomyelitis, rubella, Streptococcus pneumoniae, tetanus, and varicella.9” (Malone & Hinman) His debut of vaccinations has led to the protection of millions of children who could have been subjected to death.
Without the proper education and awareness many parents choose to not vaccinate their children in spite fear. They often believe that the vaccines cause autism or other disorders that have been proven to be unrelated time after time.”Many studies that have looked at whether there is a relationship between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To date, the studies continue to show that vaccines are not associated with ASD.”(Do Vaccines Cause Autism) Some parents have also come to believe that their unvaccinated children will be safe from disease, since most of the other children can become their “protection”. “I have friends who don’t vaccinate," she said. "They admit that they’re depending on others to be responsible.”(Chicago Tribune) “Of course, if a sufﬁcient number of individuals make this decision, the protection levels in the community decline, the herd immunity effect is lost, and the risk of transmission rises.” (Malone & Hinman). If one unvaccinated child acquires a disease that others have been immunized from, they could easily spread to other unvaccinated children, causing an outbreak among the unprotected. “At Huntington Beach High School in Southern California, one student came back from winter break with the disease. To prevent its spread, the two dozen or so students were kept at home.”(Los Angeles Times) More than enough parents ignore and argue with the facts and choose to believe that vaccinating their child will harm them or that their kids will be safe without it, when it turns out to be the complete opposite.
Children especially those in preschool or kindergarten are prone to bringing illnesses back home. In a school setting, unvaccinated children can easily spread diseases among one another. This transmission can eventually, if not contained, lead to a pandemic. “Most of the diseases historically have had very high incidence in school aged children because of the high potential for transmission in the congregate setting. With more children in preschool programs, outbreaks have occurred at earlier ages.” (Malone & Hinman) To prevent this from happening, all children should be required to up to date with all of their vaccinations. Once a child receives all of their vaccines, they will be safe and the risk of spreading will decrease. “If there is a case in the school and their child is not immunized, they will be removed from the school for 21 days,” said Dr. Eric Handler, the Orange County public health officer. “From an epidemiological standpoint, in order to prevent spread of the disease, this is a necessary measure.” ( Los Angeles Times) In order to make sure that no more cases like this will break out, mandatory vaccines has to become enforced in order to attend school.
Let’s not make our future become the past. Let’s keep the cases of illnesses that should no longer pose as a threat, infrequent, and eventually become fully eliminated. To do so, you have to take action by creating awareness, fully educating, and organize a policy for mandatory vaccination for child education.
"Vaccines Bring 7 Diseases under Control." Vaccines Bring 7 Diseases under Control. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2016
Malone, Kevin M., and Alan R. Hinman. "13." Vaccination Mandates: The Public Health Imperative and Individual Rights. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.
"Related Topics." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 04 Nov. 2016
"Five Babies near Chicago Get Measles, a Disease That Can Be Dangerous." Newsela. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2016.
"Kids without Measles Vaccine Told Not to Come to School." Newsela. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2016