Vaccination Debate at Twisted Crossroads

vaccinationThe vaccination debate around the world and primarily within the United States is currently at twisted crossroads. In the meantime, millions of new-born babies across the world are being vaccinated by their more responsible parents. These places might be considered third-world countries, or even developing world; but getting their infants vaccinated is considered a top priority today. Okay, let us just call a spade a spade. Vaccinations are necessary and should be made mandatory. They keep the infant immune against deadly diseases like polio, measles, and chickenpox.

Monday, March 9, in the city of Salem, the Oregon State Capitol, roughly 150 men, women, and children rallied to express their dissent about a bill that would make it mandatory for all school kids to get their vaccinations up-to-date. The amendment with the Senate Bill 442, would remove certain exemptions previously provided in the school immunization law in Oregon. These exemptions were given on grounds of medical reasons, religious reasons, and personal reasons.

At the moment almost 7 percent of the kids in Oregon have been exempted from getting at least one vaccine because of medical reasons. The proposed bill with its amendment would remove all non-medical exemptions. Supporters of the proposed act claim that the unvaccinated population endangers the immunity of the people who cannot be given vaccination due to medical reasons. The highest ratio of non-medical exemptions in the U.S. is given in Oregon.

Currently, the U.S. has been witnessing various cases of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and whooping-cough. vaccinationAt the same time, vaccine defiance rates have increased, and a growing amount of parents are considering revised vaccine timetables as per their own choice instead of the one suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The worries in the minds of some parents are about the number of vaccinations administered at one time and if they are chemically compatible. The basic fact that they need to understand is that before any kind of vaccine is brought into the market, it is thoroughly and extensively tested. It is ridiculously bizarre to think that the vaccines would not be tested in various laboratories across the United States.

It has been reported that there are people who believe that the diseases like chickenpox, known as Varicella, and influenza that vaccination can prevent, are not serious diseases. It must be noted that diseases like chickenpox, influenza, and polio are very communicable and therefore very dangerous. Polio is considered to be more contagious than Ebola and is deadly for those affected. An AAP committee also pointed out that many parents might choose not to immunize their kids because they could not afford the cost of these vaccinations. It was also stated that they might find it tough to get help from health services. In this case, the government needs to do a lot more to provide easy access and fund more government-run vaccination programs as the debate about vaccination is at twisted crossroads.

People who are against vaccination programs also doubt its effectiveness. Getting help from the statisticians about the triumph of vaccination programs around the world, we can consider the eradication of the life threatening disease of polio in India. A country with a population of more than 1.3 billion has not reported a single case of polio for the last four years and has been declared polio-free by the World Health Organization. Indian population is more than three times the population of the United States.

vaccinationIt is worthwhile to know that the federal government of the United States makes it mandatory for all immigrants to get their vaccination and medical reports updated. The U.S. embassies across the world maintain a list of local doctors that they have tie-ups with. The visa applicants are advised to set-up an appointment with these medical practitioners and get multiple vaccination shots during the appointment before a visa could be granted to them. It would only be logical and less hypocritical to implement the same for people living in the United States.

Despite the fact that scientific research strongly supports and endorses vaccinations and points out that the possibility of any adverse reaction is very minor, a lot of parents still have apprehensions concerning vaccine safety. Though vaccination debate around the world and primarily within the United States is currently at twisted crossroads, it is medically advisable to not pay heed to the pseudo scientific lobby against vaccination and get your kids immunized.

By Ankur Sinha

Sources:
The Washington Post
Statesman Journal
CNN

Photos by:
Art Writ – License
NIH – License
NIAID – License

Your Thoughts?