Why Parents Should Vaccinate their Children

Parents have different responsibilities and decision-making when raising their children. This involve discussing the issue of choice and taste, such as clothing or nursery school colours, the kind of meal to consume, time to play or sleep, and where to go to the hospital. Other decisions, however, are important, particularly in determining the protection of children by addressing the risks of injury, sickness or even death among infants. A key decision-making factor that has led to controversy over the years is whether or not to vaccinate children. According to the Centers for Disease and prevention (CDC), it is important that children are immunized against over 16 preventable diseases including polio, measles, meningitis, and whooping cough (893). Some parents, however, feel that their children should not be vaccinated due to the worry of possible side effects of the drugs administered. It is important, however, that vaccination is beneficial since it is safe and effective; it protects children from diseases, saves time and money, and prevents possible infection by serious illnesses.Parents should not worry about the safety of their children since vaccination is safe and effective. Before administered to children, vaccines are usually reviewed carefully and examined by scientists, healthcare professionals and doctors (Andre et al. 143). The information about a vaccine is usually reviewed to determine its effectiveness and safety, and recommendations are updated whenever new scientific information is discovered (CDC 893). Although there may be discomfort, tenderness, body redness, or pain during injection, these effects are of minimal intensity compared to the discomfort, pain, and trauma of diseases that are prevented by the vaccines. Nearly all children receive safe vaccination except for those who may have allergies or having low immunity as a result of illness (Andre et al. 144). But in such situations, doctors ensure that vaccines are only administered appropriately.Stopping serious illnesses or diseases through vaccination is also a top achievement of the public health. Due to vaccination, many parents have not seen the devastating symptoms or effects of diseases such as measles, whooping cough, and polio that can cause disability or death. These diseases still exist, and whenever the vaccination rates drop in a community, the prevalence of the diseases outbreak is never uncommon. According to Desselberger et al., the United States used to have outbreaks of Polio, but today, there are no longer reports of the disease (S40). Since 2010, cases of whooping cough have been reported with the numbers ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 (Fine and Ulla Kou 1321). However, children who are too young to be fully vaccinated end up dying every year. It is, therefore, certain that full immunization from such diseases can prevent the spread of these diseases.Vaccination also helps in eliminating diseases that can spread easily across the world. Some countries no longer see cases of diphtheria or polio, but these diseases still occur in other countries. Among the 6 WHO regions, 4 of them have observed progress in the elimination of measles, and transmission has been rendered ineffective (Andre et al. 144). The achievement of elimination is 95% through a vaccination regimen. Mumps and rubella can also be eradicated by mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. In Africa where the immunization coverage of measles in 2004 was 67%, there is possibility that the disease will be eliminated (Fine and Ulla Kou 1321). Currently, there is already elimination of rubella and mumps in Finland as well as measles in American countries. As such, it is possible that vaccination can help eradicate dangerous diseases effectively. A continuous process of vaccination is very important to ensure that reintroduction of such diseases is controlled. In 2004, Botswana experienced a re-importation of type 1 poliovirus from Nigeria, although the disease had been eliminated in the country in 1991 (Desselberger et al. S41). It is, therefore, important that continuous vaccination is administered to avoid possible reintroduction.Mothers are able to protect their families, friends, and the community in general since vaccination aids in the reduction in mortality, morbidity, and complication cases. When administered before individuals are exposed, efficacious vaccines can protect children against cluster of diseases infecting infants. In Europe, more than 90% efficacy level against Hib diseases has been experienced over the years since 1990s as well as in other continents like America, Chile, and Africa (Fine and Ulla Kou 1321). In the UK, all children that had been administered 3 doses of Hib disease vaccination ever developed the disease. This indicates that vaccination is effective in preventing killer diseases including hepatitis A and B, rabies, varicella, and measles. Vaccines have also been estimated to prevent more than 6 million deaths every year. In the United States, there is 99% reduction in the incidences of mortality resulting from the vaccine-related diseases (Ehreth 560). Complications such as liver cirrhosis, rubella syndrome, and cancer are also prevented through vaccination.Furthermore, vaccination is associated with time and cost effectiveness. Programs put in place to carry out vaccination involve investment in infrastructure, purchasing of the vaccines and recruiting adequate staff. However, the morbidity and mortality rates in a country can be prevented, thus, causing long-term cost saving. Ehreth estimates the global savings to more than tens of billions of dollars (598). Compared to Malaria disease which still has its vaccine under development, many counties, especially those in Africa, spend over 10 billion of dollars every year to purchase drugs and treat the infected. Immunization programs also results in indirect costs saving such as reduced loss of productivity that occurs when there is are high cases of morbidity and mortality in a nation (Ehreth 599). With the currently existing live-attenuated rotavirus and pneumococcal vaccines, various diseases will be prevented.In summary, there are vast benefits of vaccination beyond the prevention of severe diseases among children. The immunization process can help societies and nations gain longer life expectancy and enhanced productivity of individuals. One key advantage of administering vaccines to children is the fact that they are safe and effective. The side effects of vaccines are harmless to children compared to the effects of diseases such as polio, measles, meningitis, and whooping cough that may result from lack of vaccination. The program is also associated with elimination of diseases that can spread easily across the world. Diseases such as mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and polio no longer exist in some countries like Europe, United States, and Filipino. With vaccines in place, mothers will be able to protect their children, and achieve the fourth Millennium Development Goal.Works CitedAndre, Francis E., et al. "Vaccination greatly reduces disease, disability, death and inequity worldwide." Bulletin of the World Health Organization, no. 86.2, 2008, pp. 140-146.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Direct and indirect effects of routine vaccination of children with 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease--United States, 1998-2003." MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, no. 54.36, 2005, p. 893.Desselberger, Ulrich, et al. "Rotavirus types in Europe and their significance for vaccination." The Pediatric infectious disease journal, no. 25.1, 2006, pp. S30-S41.Ehreth, Jenifer. "The global value of vaccination." Vaccine, no. 21.7, 2003, pp. 596-600.Fine, Paul EM, and Ulla Kou Griffiths. "Global poliomyelitis eradication: status and implications." The Lancet, no. 369.9570, 2007, pp. 1321.MacIntyre, C. R., and Julie Leask. "Immunization myths and realities: responding to arguments against immunization." Journal of paediatrics and child health, no. 39.7, 2003, pp. 487-491.

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