Childhood vaccinations – Essay Example

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Thesis Failure to get children immunized puts them at risk of innumerable life-threatening or permanently disabling diseases that would otherwise have been completely preventable. It is argued here that children should get immunized and that vaccination is the right of every child, as much as is his right to living. Background The World Health Organization (WHO) has a Millennium Development Goal 4 for reducing child (under five years of age) mortality by up to two thirds by the year 2015 (“10 facts on immunization” who. int). According to reports, millions of children die every year from diseases that could have been prevented through immunization.

Vaccination is also a key strategy for the prevention of emergence of pandemic infections. The WHO reports that vaccination results in the prevention of about 2-3 million deaths all over the world each year (“10 facts on immunization” who. int). Deaths in all age groups from pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, measles and polio have been prevented through vaccination, which is “one of the most successful and cost-effective public health interventions” (“10 facts on immunization” who. int). However, many individuals fail to get their children immunized, resulting in morbidity or death.

For instance, as the WHO reports, more than 1 million infants and children die each year from rotavirus diarrhea and pneumococcal disease due to lack of immunization. As a parent of two healthy, vaccinated children, I believe it is essential to communicate the importance of immunization to all individuals so they do not leave their children to chance only out of fear of the side-effects or the perceived uselessness of vaccinations. Discussed here are evidences that strongly suggest the benefits of vaccinations, the number of lives they have saved and the reductions they have caused in the overall disease burden of the world.

Why is It Necessary to Get Children Vaccinated Vaccination Improves Immunity – Prevention Is Better Than Cure When a child undergoes immunization, his immune system is stimulated and antibodies are produced. The child then develops immunity to the disease against which he is immunized. However, like any medicine, vaccinations have been found to work 90 to 100% of the time (CDC 32). The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA licenses all vaccines, which undergo extensive testing before approval.

All vaccines undergo clinical trials where they are tested on people and then approved. It is seen that once a vaccine gets approved and licensed, and after its widespread administration, the number of cases of the disease drop significantly.

Works Cited

“10 facts on immunization.” www.who.int. 20 April 2014. Web. <http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/immunization/en/>.

Andre, FE et al. “Vaccination greatly reduces disease, disability, death and inequity worldwide.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 86:2 (2008). 20 April 2014. Web. <http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/2/07-040089.pdf?ua=1>.

CDC. Parents guide to childhood immunizations. CDC, 2012. 20 April 2014. Web. <http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/parents-guide/downloads/parents-guide-508.pdf>.

Gillan, Helen. “My Polio Experience.” www.independenceaustralia.com. 20 April 2014. Web. <http://www.independenceaustralia.com/uploads/Polio/Stories/Helen%20Gillan%20My%20Polio%20Story.pdf>.

immunize.org. “Vaccines work! CDC statistics demonstrate dramatic declines in vaccine-preventable diseases when compared with the pre-vaccine era.” www.immunize.org. 20 April 2014. Web. <http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4037.pdf>.

Mercola. “Vaccination statistics.” www.mercola.com. 20 April 2014. Web. <http://www.mercola.com/article/vaccines/statistics.htm>.

niaid.nih.gov. “Vaccine benefits.” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 20 April 2014. Web. <http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/vaccines/understanding/pages/vaccinebenefits.aspx>.

Nichols, Janice. “Polio, the forgotten killer.” www.chop.edu. 20 April 2014. Web. <http://www.chop.edu/service/parents-possessing-accessing-communicating-knowledge-about-vaccines/sharing-personal-stories/sharing-personal-stories-polio.html>.

WHO, UNICEF, World Bank. State of the world’s vaccines and immunization. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2009. 20 April 2014. Web. <http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2009/9789241563864_eng.pdf?ua=1>.

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