Dothe Benefits of Vaccination Outweigh the Risks?
Humanvaccination is a common practice that is intended to safeguardagainst diseases. It is a common practice at least in most parts ofthe world to vaccinate children against a list of diseases withsuccessfully proven vaccines such as polio and measles to name but afew. However, concerns on the safety and the effectiveness of thepractice have been raised over time, keeping in mind that vaccines,just like medication come with various side effects. Thus raising thequestion do the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks?
Accordingto the report to the house committee on government in August 1999 thegovernment of America values the benefits of vaccination arguingthat, vaccination is a means of “protecting the society againstdebilitating and deadly diseases that can be prevented” (Satcher,1). From this report the government through various stakeholders hasput a lot of efforts in the vaccination program.
DrSatcher argues that vaccination is among the most effective andsuccessful tools to fight diseases, death and disability that can becaused by some diseases such as polio and German measles. Aside fromprevention the vaccination helps in protecting the community as awhole against outbreaks of diseases. (Webcraft,17). And vaccination has been successful at eliminating diseases forinstance smallpox, and has eliminated the polio virus from thewestern hemisphere.
Asmuch as vaccination has been tested to show the benefits from theeffective reduction of infection of diseases, saving money on takingcare of affected individuals and alleviating suffering and pain,arguments have been raised on the safety and the necessity ofvaccines.
Vaccinationis expected to be administered to all individuals in their childhood,though in countries like Canada, vaccination is not mandatory. Thisis due to the risks associated with vaccinations. Studies over timehas shown that vaccination has been linked with the increase ofdisorders such as autism, ADHD, different type of allergies, obesity,and asthma amongst many others (Webcraft25).
Thestudies argue that there is an over emphasis on the importance ofvaccinating children but has left out the risks of the practicetherefore living the larger public with very limited information onthe side effects and the possible high risk of the practice. Suchrisk could be the development of allergic reactions and complicationfrom the vaccination. Due to these studies and the high awarenessprograms against vaccinating, the rate of vaccination has beenreported to drop drastically.
DrChen argues that due to the drop in immunization there may be anoutbreak of rare and serious diseases, and meet an unprotected illprepared community like in the instance of the whooping cough in 2010(Webcraft2). Dr Chen further counters the studies linking the vaccination ofindividuals to an increased risk of Autism, claiming that thevaccinations administered to individuals are safe and effective. Thisbegs the question therefore is the vaccines given to individualssafe?
DrSatcher in the report explains that the safety of any vaccineadministered I the United States is very important and is overlookedby bodies like the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research(CBER) who ensure that the safety procedures are followed. Accordingto Dr Satcher, the vaccination must through three stages before it isofficially licensed, (Neustaedter 68). All these stages must besuccessful in order for the vaccine to be released to the public. Ifnot, the vaccine is expected to be further researched on or droppedall together. The production of any drug or vaccine is overlooked byserious bodies, therefore ensuring that on release to the public,they are of the best quality and that safety is of key importance.
Vaccinationgoes further than just vaccinating children there are a variety ofunderutilized vaccinations for adults as well, which can help reducedeath. The public health has allocated billions of dollars towardsthe prevention of disease, perhaps inspired by the old sayingprevention is better than cure. Which in fact is true as far asvaccination goes the cost of managing a child affected by Germanmeasles is quite high (Satcher, 4).
Thework put in research has made it possible for there to be at least 14serious illnesses. They aim to protect the children not to causefurther harm. But not to leave out the possibility of an exceptionalpopulation that may for example have allergic reactions to vaccines.The general safety of the vaccine is without a doubt more.
Vaccinationbenefits are dynamic from saving against diseases by reducing theexpenses of treatment as well as managing complication that resultsfrom not vaccinating individual. After all vaccinations does not onlybenefit one person but an entire community. If vaccination was not aseffective or necessary, then the fight against some diseases wouldnot have been won. Therefore the benefits of vaccination do without adoubt outweigh the risks.
Neustaedter,Randall. TheVaccine Guide: Risks and Benefits for Children and Adults.Rev. ed. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic, 2002. Print.
Satcher,David. Statementon Risk vs Benefit of Vaccinations.AssistantSecretary for for registration, 3 August, 1999. Web. 9 Dec 2014.
WebcraftJuniper. VaccinationAwareness Network.Vaccine Choice (Canada), 15 May, 2008. Web. 9 Dec 2014.