The Argument over Unvaccinated Children in Public Schools

Pages: 5 (1785 words) Published: February 27, 2013
Non-vaccinated Children Allowed to Attend Public Schools – This Is Not Acceptable Assignment 4 – Persuasive Paper Part 1: Revision of a Problem Exists English 215
February 24, 2013

This is a question that every parent must consider when they allow their school-aged child to attend public or even private school. How do you feel about allowing your child to attend school with children who have not been vaccinated? Would it bother you? I’m sure there are several different answers to these questions. This paper will focus on the reasons why unvaccinated children should not be allowed to attend public schools as well as the benefits of vaccination. Every parent wants to raise a healthy child. Every parent wants to make sure their child is protected from infectious diseases and wants to do everything in their power to prevent any illness in the future. Every day there are thousands of babies born in this world and as parents we know that their immune systems are not ready to take on the illnesses that this world has. So why not protect your child? The American Academy of Pediatrics state that childhood vaccines are 90 – 99% effective in preventing disease. The risks of not being vaccinated far outweigh the small risks associated with vaccination. This is an issue that some parents face each time we prepare our children to attend public schools. We all know the common cold is air born and school aged children are prone to picking up that strand from another child. There are also other diseases that children can pick up from their classmates like chickenpox, measles and pertussis (whooping cough). If we vaccinate our children when they are scheduled to be, they are less likely to be sick in the future. For many years there have been reasons for a child not being vaccinated. Some individuals have claimed that it is due to religious views, the cost of vaccinations, or that vaccinations do more harm than good. Some of these individuals would also like to know why it is so important to immunize their children. The main reasons are prevention and protection. When fewer children in a community are immune, it is easier for a disease to spread from person to person and cause an outbreak. No one likes being sick and you have to be considerate of others. Before vaccinations many diseases like measles and polio caused death, but because there are vaccines today you don’t hear many cases of children dying from these diseases. Diseases are becoming rare due to vaccinations and this is great news. All states allow a religious exemption to vaccinations except California, Mississippi and West Virginia. The religious exemption is intended for people who hold a sincere religious belief opposing vaccination to the extent that if the state forced vaccination, it would be an infringement on their constitutional right to exercise their religious beliefs. There is also medical exemption to vaccination, which is allowed in all 50 states. However, proof of medical exemption must take the form of a signed statement by a medical doctor or doctor of Osteopathy that the administering of one or more vaccines would be detrimental to the health of that individual. Even if a religious exemption to vaccines is not an issue, some report that the cost of getting immunized is not affordable. This is no excuse because there are several resources available for free immunizations. Within the United States, it’s as easy as calling 211 and asking. If you have access to the internet it is as simple as typing “free vaccinations” in the search bar. There should be no reason to not vaccinate. It doesn’t just benefit the individual, but others that come in contact with them and I’m sure that a lot of teachers and caregivers would appreciate this. There is also another issue with parents just not having their child vaccinated. Some parents truly believe that vaccinations may cause brain inflammation which can lead to death or permanent...

References: American Academy of Pediatrics, "Why Does My Child Need to be Immunized?" (accessed Dec. 17, 2009)
Stephen Engelberg, "Vaccine: Assessing Risks and Benefits," New York Times, Dec
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, "About the VAERS Program," (accessed Jan. 6, 2010)
Every Child By Two, "Economic Value of Vaccines," (accessed Jan
Gary L. Freed, et al., "Parental Vaccine Safety Concerns in 2009," Pediatrics, Mar. 1, 2009
Health Resources and Services Administration, "National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act Vaccine Injury Table, (accessed Jan
February 24, 2013
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