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Amanda Parfitt
Dr. Adrienne Cassel
English 1201
23 November 2015
Choosing Not To Vaccinate Is Not Safe
All children should be vaccinated because it is beneficial not only to their health
and wellbeing but is preventative from developing disease and controls the spread of
disease to others. Vaccines are tested for years to make sure they are safe for individuals
to put in their bodies. Yet unfortunately in todays society we are seeing an increase in
people who chose not to vaccinate their children based on a misconception or simply not
having enough information on the topic of vaccination. Parents need to be more educated
on vaccines and how they work. They have a very high success rate of preventing disease
and very rarely do they cause side effects so why wouldnt someone prevent disease by
getting vaccinated?
Information on vaccines is everywhere, it is about knowing where to look and
what is reliable." Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child. N.p., n.d. Web. 05
Dec. 2015. states, Immunization protects others you care about. Children in the U.S.
still get vaccine-preventable diseases. In fact, we have seen resurgences of measles and
whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. Since 2010, there have been between
10,000 and 50,000 cases of whooping cough each year in the United States and about 10
to 20 babies, many of which were too young to be fully vaccinated, died each year.

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Pertussis In The
United States. 2012. National Center for Health Statistics., Hyattsville, MD.
Contemporary OB/GYN. Web. 2 Dec. 2015. Sadly whooping cough isnt the only
preventable disease making a comeback due to people choosing not to vaccinate. In an
article Vaccination Means Protection by Tom Frieden, Freiden, Tom. Vaccination
Means Protection. The Hill 18 Feb. 2015: n. pag. Print. who has been a director of the
Center for disease prevention since 2009, the United States has been battling a measles
outbreak and since we have used the measles vaccine successfully for over fifty years
people are starting to forget just how dangerous measles is. In 2013 measles reappeared
in the United States. Measles is a droplet spread contagious disease, meaning it is
airborne and it can be in the air for two hours and can linger on objects. Ninety percent of
people who are exposed to measles that are not immunized contract measles. Tom
Frieden writes, Everyday measles kills 400 children somewhere in the world, most of
them under the age of five, and will cause permanent hearing loss or brain damage in
many more. He also adds that Vaccination is not just a way to protect your own kids,
its also a way to protect the children around you. The truth of the matter is vaccines are

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effective. They are continuously tested for years and by not taking advantage of them you
are not only putting your own child at risk but others.

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Measles on the Rise in the U.S. 2014. The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Web. 2
Dec. 2015.
Yet here we are living in a world where parents have to ask themselves the
question, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. When looking into this subject why do people
make the decisions that they do on this matter and what do they base their decision off
of? I found this book Evans, Geoffrey. Risk Communication and Vaccination. Washington
DC: National Academy, 1997. Print. fascinating. Geoffrey Evans when discussing the
factors of risk communication and what leads to the decisions that we make In
particular, the rarity of vaccine-preventable diseases in the vaccine era makes it more
difficult to communicate the risks of these diseases. Well that does make sense when we
havent heard of a certain disease outbreak in a while we as a society tend to forget about
it. This is really the first year I can recall hearing about cases of measles on the news. The

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fact is we are hearing about it now because we thought it was behind us, it isnt.
Evans furthermore goes into other reasons parents might not be vaccinating their
children Individual's immunization decisions are influenced by decisions that others
make. People might prefer to do what a majority of others do or may take advantage of
the protection afforded by high immunization rates and not be vaccinated; they may also
be influenced to vaccinate by the fact that vaccination would protect others. With that
excerpt I feel he discusses both sides of why people choose to vaccinate or not. In a
documentary Vaccines-Calling the Shots. Dir. Sonya Pemberton. Perf. Sharon
Washington. PBS, 2015. DVD. Ninety percent of parents vaccinate their children on
schedule, which is twenty-eight vaccinations in the first two years of life. Ten percent of
parents skip or delay vaccinations and one percent do not vaccinate at all. When watching
this documentary however most parents that delay or dont vaccinate do it because you
are injecting a substance into your child and you as a parent dont know what it is, as a
parent you are afraid and sometimes that is where the vaccine conversation ends. Other
parents are afraid of the side effects of vaccines or the amount that are given at one time.
We all have different factors in life that affect the decisions that we make, so why should
this topic be any different? The fact is this topic needs to be different; vaccines can save
your childs life.
So many deadly and feared diseases have been prevented and not even thought of
for decades because of vaccines. For example, smallpox was eradicated worldwide in
1979 and that is because of the smallpox vaccine. Polio is another example, the disease
causes paralysis and death and now because of the polio vaccine we have not heard of a
case in the United States. According to the CDC "What Are the Reasons to Vaccinate My

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Baby?" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, 26 Aug. 2015. Web. 05 Dec. 2015. It's easy to think of these as diseases that
only existed in the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States can
and dostill get some of these diseases. In fact, when vaccination rates drop in a
community, it's not uncommon to have an outbreak. As parents we should be reducing
and eliminating the cases of the diseases, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, but
we cannot protect our children with just hand washing alone we must take advantage of
vaccinations.
Not only do vaccinations protect your child they protect you as the parent. If an
unvaccinated child comes down with measles they obviously will not be attending
school, and if you are a working parent most likely you will be the one also staying home
to tend to your sick child, so besides preventing disease they also save you time and
money. The federally funded Vaccines for Children program provide free vaccines to
children of low-income families.
Vaccines not only protect our generation, our childrens generation, but future
generations. With regular vaccinations we can eliminate dangerous and deadly diseases
and they will no longer exist in the future. Scientists and Doctors spend years testing and
developing vaccines. An excerpt on vaccines.gov Vaccines will involve some discomfort
and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection but this is minimal
compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.
Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare.
The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible
side effects for almost all children.

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No one wants to see or hear of a sick child, and every parent wants what is best
for their children thats why choosing to vaccinate is the best possible option. By
vaccinating a healthy child you can also protect children and adults with weakened
immune systems, maybe because they are suffering from cancer or another chronic
condition but by simply giving routine vaccinations you are saving others from
developing these terrible diseases which when in weakened states can kill you.
By immunizing you are taking a weakened or dead part of the disease and
sparking an immune defense, your body now recognizes and knows how to fight the
disease, so if you are ever exposed to the actual disease your body knows how to
eliminate it. Immunization protects entire communities from the very young to the very
old, choosing not to vaccinate is not safe. With a majority of people being vaccinated we
can control the spread of disease this is called herd immunity general immunity to a
pathogen in a population based on the acquired immunity to it by a high proportion of

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members over time.

N.d. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. The fact of the
matter certain diseases are preventable and we should do everything in our power to
prevent them not only for children, our future generations and ourselves. All children
should be vaccinated because it is beneficial not only to their health and wellbeing but is
preventative from developing disease and controls the spread of disease to others.

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Works Cited
Alder, Richard, PhD, Fallon, L. Fleming, Jr., PhD, Hessen, Margaret Trexler, MD,
Magills Medical Guide. Immunization and vaccination. Research Starters. Salem
Press. January 2015. Web. November 2015.
Evans, Geoffrey. Risk Communication and Vaccination. Washington DC: National
Academy, 1997. Print.
Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child." Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate
Your Child. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2015.
Frieden, Tom. Vaccination Means Protection. The Hill 18 Feb. 2015: n. pag. Print.
Measles on the Rise in the U.S. 2014. The Washington Post. The Washington Post. Web. 2
Dec. 2015.
N.d. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

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Pertussis In The United States. 2012. National Center for Health Statistics., Hyattsville,
MD. Contemporary OB/GYN. Web. 1 Apr. 2014.
"U.S. Food and Drug Administration." Vaccines for Children. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Dec.
2015.
Vaccines-Calling the Shots. Dir. Sonya Pemberton. Perf. Sharon Washington. PBS, 2015.
DVD.
"What Are the Reasons to Vaccinate My Baby?" Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 Aug. 2015. Web. 05 Dec.
2015.