Impacts of reduction in vaccination
topic : Impacts of reduction in vaccination
1. A study by the CDC reported that only 73% of children in some areas of the United States are being adequately vaccinated. Several million children at high risk for infections. a) Name two factors that account for this trend. b) Explain how the reduction in vaccination impacts herd immunity. c)Would you vaccinate your own children? Why or why not?
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Vaccination coverage was lower among the children in rural areas. There are many reasons for this. These could include the transportation and the education of parents. Furthermore, some children often don’t have insurance or access to basic government (Medicaid) insurance. Even when uninsured children are eligible for the VFC program, there are still many issues with it.
One possible issue is that it is hard for some parents or caregivers to sign up for programs. Another issue might be the proximity to a facility that supports the program and the opening hours. Some regular, local pediatrician might not accept payment from the program either. An issue we see today is also misleading and the spread of false information about the safety of vaccination.
A decrease in vaccinations leads to more outbreaks of illnesses and a decrease in herd immunity. Herd immunity is a major goal for epidemiologists and policy makers. This is when a population is shielded on a macro level through vaccinations of the majority of enough of its members. For example, “Measles, mumps, polio, and chickenpox are examples of infectious diseases that were once very common but are now rare in the U.S. because vaccines helped to establish herd immunity” (https://www.jhsph.edu/covid-19/articles/achieving-herd-immunity-with-covid19.html ).
And yet we still see outbreaks of those serious illnesses in the US. “In 2019, a provisional total of 1,242 cases of measles from 31 states were reported to CDC.”
(https://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_mmr.asp) Those outbreaks occurred primarily among unvaccinated people.
Young infants, children and seniors are at a higher risk of dying from the severe symptoms of measles. Measles is a disease that would be extinct if everyone had received the vaccination or benefitted from herd immunity. Severe side effects of measles include, orchitis (inflammation of testicle), oophoritis (inflammation of ovary), pancreatitis, deafness, aseptic meningitis, encephalitis.
As to whether I would vaccinate my children – yes! Absolutely. I don’t want them to suffer from preventable illnesses that we receive routine vaccinations for. It is so important that we all get the vaccinations for our children and ourselves. Vaccines teach the human body to make antibodies which confer protection. The consequences of skipping vaccination are severe. Illnesses destroy lives.
I definitely don’t want my children to have the same destiny as my sister’s godmother had. She had polio. There was no vaccination for it at the time. She only had a mild form of polio, but that still meant that she ended up with lifelong disability. She was confined to a wheelchair beginning at age 38 and was not able to work. Others had to live inside of iron lungs. Many others died. That disease wrought unimaginable suffering.
I sincerely hope that such history is not lost and we all stay aware of the facts and dismiss baseless conspiracy theory. Science and history has proven the many benefits of vaccinations.
One reason I think less and less parents are having their children vaccinated at a young age is because somewhere along the way, I think more and more people today are uneducated on how important vaccines are. I do not think that parents today understand the short and long-term effects their children could potentially face by not getting them vaccinated at a young age. For example, when a child is not vaccinated but has to be taken to the doctors office, emergency room, or ride in an ambulance, they require slightly different care than a vaccinated child does. This kind of care could be something that medical personnel are not extremely familiar with since they do not deal with it as often as they do vaccinated people. Another example would be a female child that later on in their life becomes pregnant. If she has not been vaccinated against Rubella but contracts it in her first trimester of pregnancy, then she risks giving birth to a child with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). This can cause heart defects, developmental delays, and deafness. There are also social consequences to not having your child vaccinated. If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a certain sickness or disease, they could have to quarantine for a certain amount of time or depending on what disease they were exposed to, it could be life threatening to them.
Another reason why many Americans are choosing not to get their children vaccinated is because they have the belief than getting the vaccine could be more dangerous than actually contracting the virus itself. There are a number of people who claim to believe that vaccines cause autism and also a number of people that stated that they are unsure of if this is true or not. These claims are still currently being made even though they were reported to be false at the center of the anti-vaccine movement.
The impact that this has on herd immunity is not a good one. With less children getting their vaccines, it significantly decreases the ‘herd immunity’ for a certain disease. Health experts recommend at least 95% of the population to be vaccinated against a virus for herd immunity to take place and to help prevent the spread of the disease. Without that percentage being reached, there is no vast immunity against a disease and more and more individuals are susceptible to it. That is a scary thought to think about.
Personally, my stance on vaccines is very strong. I work in healthcare and see firsthand how vaccines can change lives so I will always keep myself vaccinated and one day when I do have children, I will keep them vaccinated as well. There are some people that feel that the government should make it a requirement that parents have their children vaccinated. While I do think that would be a great thing, I also still feel that Americans should have the freedom to make that choice. My wish is that people would spent more time and effort into researching the topic and finding their information from very reliable sources, that way they can get all of the information and get the factual information too.
Rubric for Impacts of reduction in vaccination
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0 Points – Inadequate = Initial post deadline not met
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0 Points – Inadequate = Did not reply to other
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