Smallpox was one of the deadliest diseases of the 20th century. In America, smallpox spread among the population at a very fast rate and killed over 50% of all those who contracted it. It was estimated that over 300 million people across the world. The spread of the disease was witnessed more during and after the First World War. Inoculated vaccinations, the smallpox was introduced by Jenner Edwards. There are countless other diseases that have vaccines which protect people from contracting diseases. Development of vaccines was a game changer in the field of medicine. Instead, searching for cures of diseases, focus on vaccines prevents the spread of disease which eventually eradicates the disease from the face of the earth as was the case with smallpox (De Soto, 23). Mandatory vaccination has been a debatable topic for years, due to the loss of lives caused by diseases whose vaccines are available. Thesis: Mandatory vaccination should be implemented in the United States to help eradicate diseases whose vaccines are available as well as save the lives of children from deadly diseases.
From a historical perspective, the debate on making vaccinations mandatory has been in existence for centuries. There are numerous societies that have a negative opinion on vaccinations, while an even larger group of people are ignorant of the significance of vaccinations. The eradication of smallpox, a deadly disease in the 20th century is living proof of the significance of vaccination to the general of all people in the United States (Netzley, 21). Some of the reasons for the resistance to vaccination apart from ignorance is the lack of basic education on facts about vaccines. There are numerous misconceptions help by different groups of people especially those with religious affiliations that don’t believe in modern medicine. However, the general public needs to understand the significance of vaccination through campaigns by the healthcare department.
The debate on mandatory vaccination is aimed at eradicating diseases that spread and caused death among the people. With mandatory vaccination, the health department is able to deal with diseases that have vaccines and protect generations to come from the effects of such disease. The aspects that prevent the implementation of mandatory vaccination in the united states is the existence of civil rights that needs to be upheld by the government at all cost. Mandatory vaccination in the United States will lead to the violation of the civil rights granted to the United States citizen by the constitution (Offit, 17).
The need for mandatory vaccination, however, is based on the fact that vaccines are quite helpful in the protection of the lives of people and those around them. Research indicates that millions of lives have been saved due to the introduction of numerous vaccines across the world. The United States Center for Disease control CDC is one of the organizations in the United States tasked with studying and preventing the spread of diseases (De Soto, 27). Reports from the CDC show that vaccines are safe and probably the most significant invention in the field of medicine in the 20th century. The need for mandatory vaccinations arises from the high cases of disease spreading and deaths which result from diseases that vaccines are available in healthcare facilities across the country.
Some groups of people tend to associate complication in the lives of their children to vaccines given to them during their childhood. There is some shred of truth on that point; there have been several side effects to some groups of people. However, this is not the basis for refuting mandatory vaccinations. In most cases, the categories of people who experience side effects need to be categorized to understand the reason for the side effects on such groups of people and a solution to be determined (Netzley, 41). The mandatory vaccination will help the government ensure that the diseases which can be vaccinated be eradicated through the prevention of their spread to the public. There is numerous deadly disease in the 21st century that still pose a threat to the public including poliomyelitis Such diseases still exist due to the small groups of people who are against vaccinations and hence lead to the continued spread of the diseases. With mandatory vaccination, many diseases will be eradicated from the earth like the case with smallpox.
The main reasons for vaccination are saving lives through the boosting of the immune system of the children to diseases. Children are the most susceptible to diseases as their immune systems are not fully developed yet. The mandatory vaccination should, therefore, be instituted to help prevent the deaths of children from diseases whose vaccines are available. The government is responsible for the development of treatment for several diseases every year (Offit, 17). The responsibility of the development of treatments for diseases whose vaccines are available is rather pointless. Vaccines make several diseases obsolete hence the rise significance to the society.
The campaign on vaccines was instituted by the department of healthcare services over the years to make the public be aware of the significance of vaccinations to children and its implications as well. Over the years these campaigns have been successful in creating awareness among the people hence the increased rate of vaccination and its approval from the public (Merino, 25). After the eradication of smallpox from the face of the world, many people’s understood the need for vaccinations hence the high number of Americans who vaccinate. However, the issue arises where several groups of people tend to shy away from vaccination for their own reasons.
The push for making vaccination mandatory arises from the need to eradicate all diseases that vaccines are available so that the medical research teams can focus on the treatment of other diseases. It is a shame that several years after the development of different vaccines, yet people still contract diseases and succumb to them (De Soto, 33). Christian Scientists, for instance, do not believe in modern medicine. They believe in the healing power of God hence shy away from medical treatments including vaccines. The side effect of such believes lead to the continued existence of diseases which already have vaccines thereby posing threats to the public. Mandatory vaccination not only prevents loss of lives among children but protects the public from the devastation of diseases. In most cases there spread of diseases is attributed to contact with friends and family members, lack of vaccination of even a single member of the family may lead to the spread of diseases (Rech, 34).
The main arguments against mandatory vaccinations are the side effects it has on the human body; there have been a few cases of side effects none of which was fatal. However, the cases changed the perception of some people on vaccination hence the objection to mandatory vaccinations (Merino, 12). Having side effects from vaccines of a disease that doesn’t pose an immediate threat to the public is a very strong argument again mandatory vaccination. With the right to choose whether to vaccinate children or not, the parents of most children who have a negative perception of vaccines end up not vaccinate their children at all.
The freedom to choose whether to vaccinate or not is guaranteed under the constitution of the United States, this gives the parents the choice to either vaccinate their children or not. Mandatory vaccination will be a direct violation of the civil rights of the United States citizens. The objective of the vaccination campaign is to enlighten the public on the need for vaccination and its implication (Isaacs & Julie, 54). That is the farthest they can go in terms of vaccinations. Saving lives is a credible reason for mandatory vaccinations in a country especially in the effort to eradicate a disease from the planet, however, a violation or any compromise to the civil rights of any person in the United States is a violation of their rights; rights that the country was built on, to begin with.
It can, therefore, be deduced that vaccinations should be made mandatory in the United States for the general health and safety of the public. The existence of vaccines should be used to eradicate several diseases that have led to the loss of lives over the years. Although there have been numerous arguments against mandatory vaccination such as the side effects f the vaccines and violation of the civil liberties of the citizens, the need for mandatory vaccination is for the good of the country hence the need to be implemented.
De Soto, Joseph. “Should HPV vaccination be mandatory?.” Journal of Family Practice 56.4 (2007): 267.
Isaacs, David, and Julie Leask. “Should influenza immunization be mandatory for healthcare workers? No.” BMJ337 (2008): a2140.
Merino, Noël. Should Vaccinations Be Mandatory?Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Print.
Offit, Paul A. Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All: with a New Foreword. , 2015. Print.
Reich, Jennifer A. Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines. , New York: New York University Press, 2018
Netzley, Patricia D. Should Vaccinations for Youth Be Mandatory? An Diego, CA : Reference Point Press, Inc., 2013.