Ever since the invention of the first smallpox vaccine more than two centuries ago, there has been plenty of controversy over the morality, ethics, effectiveness, or safety of vaccination and immunization. It has recently been argued whether laws should be introduced that render some or all vaccines obligatory for all children. Parents, health care specialists, nurses, teachers and children themselves all have an important stake in this issue. Parents argue that it is they who should have the ultimate decision-making right on whether or not to vaccinate their children. Nurses and health care officials oppose that view on the grounds that by making vaccination rates in children incomplete, we expose all children to contracting the vaccine-preventable diseases, no matter whether or not a child has been vaccinated. If this is a risk some parents are willing to take, but others face unwillingly, there is obviously a propitious platform for debate. The following essay aims at presenting the main arguments in favor of both sides and ultimately concluding with a solution to the debate.
Every parent is concerned with their child’s health. However, this concern can take several directions. While some parents are convinced that vaccines have been invented to prevent the human-to-human transmitted diseases, which otherwise can have serious health implications on children and adults, other parents are certain that it is the vaccines themselves that pose a lot of risk to their children’s health. Both have reasons to believe what they do. It has been known that ever since the vaccines for diseases like diphtheria and measles were introduced in the twentieth century, the number of deaths related to these diseases decreased by more than 500 per cent. On the other hand, the mid-twentieth century was also the time when such indicators as nutrition, sanitation and healthcare, other important factors of spreading vaccine-preventable diseases, have been greatly improved (Pratt,...
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