Topics: Vaccine, Vaccination, Smallpox Pages: 6 (1480 words) Published: February 26, 2015
Compulsory vaccines for children are a controversial topic that has been around the world for hundreds of years. Some people have been opposed to vaccines since the beginning. Some are against children getting vaccines because they view the vaccine as dangerous and unsafe. Some feel that diseases aren’t as harmful as they really are. Vaccines have saved countless children’s lives and have eradicated and eliminated many diseases. Vaccines should be required for children because they save lives, protects future generations, and save a lot of money. Saving millions of lives each year, vaccines are one of the greatest achievements in medicine and public health. Vaccines have eradicated smallpox, almost eradicated polio, and significantly reduced and controlled many other childhood diseases. Smallpox has been one of the most devastating diseases known to man. Smallpox goes back to the times of ancient Egypt and has plagued societies around the world since. In 1796, Edward Jenner discovered the small pox vaccine, which was the first vaccine ever and was made from cows (Salmon). Because of vaccination the last case of smallpox in the United States was in 1948 and the last case in the world was in Somalia in 1977 (Vaccines). Smallpox is eradicated, meaning that it no longer existing anywhere in the world. We no longer have to vaccinate people for smallpox. Every year 29,004 deaths from smallpox in the United States are avoided (Vaccines). In addition to these deaths people no longer have scars from smallpox, children no longer suffer, and no one spends money treating cases. Polio will likely be the next disease to be eradicated. Our grandparents were so afraid of polio that they wouldn’t let their children go to movie theaters or swimming pools. Albert Sabin and Jonas Salk developed polio vaccines in the 1950’s that has eliminated polio in the US and most of the world (Salmon). According to UNICEF, there were 350,000 cases of polio in 1988, which was brought down to 500 cases in 2014 worldwide (appearing only in three countries: Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan), because of vaccination programs (Vaccines). Many other common childhood diseases have been greatly reduced or eliminated in America. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that between 1994 and 2014, 322 million cases of childhood illnesses were prevented and 732,000 American children were saved from death due to vaccinations. Most childhood vaccines are 90%-99% effective in preventing diseases according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Before vaccines, every year in the twentieth century United States there were 21,053 cases of Diphtheria, 530,217cases of measles, 162,344 cases of mumps, 47,745 cases of rubella, and 20,000 cases of Haemophilus Influenzae Type b (Hib). Each of these diseases was decreased by 99% by 2012 thanks to vaccinations (Vaccines). Throughout the world vaccines have had a similar impact. Vaccines save the lives of 2.5 million children from avoidable diseases each year, which compares to approximately 285 children saved every hour (Solution). The deaths of measles, a major child killer, have declined by 80% in Sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 20011, and by 71% worldwide (Routine). No other medical or public health intervention has had a bigger impact on the health of the world’s children than vaccines. Vaccines protect future generations as well. Vaccinated mothers protect their unborn children from congenital rubella syndrome that can cause birth defects and learning disabilities. Before the rubella vaccine was approved in 1969, a worldwide rubella outbreak caused birth defects in 20,000 babies, and the deaths of 11,000 babies between 1963 and 1965 in the United States (Vaccines). Birth defects of rubella include heart problems, congenital cataracts, hearing and vision loss, mental abilities, and liver and spleen damage, which can be prevented by women who are vaccinated as children, therefor greatly decreased the chance of...
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