Vaccinations, Worth A Shot!Mandated Vaccinations are a huge argument right now becauseof health and disease issues.There are people on both sides of this argument. Some people are againstvaccinating their children because they feel they are being forced to havetheir child get vaccinated. While some people feel the need that vaccinationsare important to protect themselves from any illness or diseases. Vaccinationsshould be mandatory for all schools and health care purposes.For one, people who are vaccinated can protect the otherpeople who cannot be vaccinated for certain reasons or problems. “Annual influenza vaccination for healthcare workers hasthe potential to benefit healthcare professionals, their patients, and theirfamilies by reducing the transmission of influenza” (Anikeeva, 2009).
It is agreat idea to be vaccinated because it reduces the chance of getting a diseaseand gives the body medicine to prevent getting a disease. It is a great way tokeep the body protected, physical or intimate contact spreads the mostdiseases. Most diseases can be easily spread but prevented by a vaccination. Secondly, influenza vaccinations of healthcare workers areequally important because it reduces employees from having an illness and beingabsent from work. “In October 2009, public healthauthorities ranked health care personnel as one of the highest priority groupsto receive the vaccine” (Hellyer, 2011). Influenza vaccinations are veryeffective and can prevent many illnesses, deaths, and losses in productivity. Also,vaccinating employees and in turn reducing absenteeism can save employers moneyin an influenza vaccination program. “Influenzavaccination programs for healthcare workers are cost effective in both directand indirect costs of staff absenteeism” (Anikeeva, 2009).
Annual influenzavaccines for healthcare workers also help their patients and families byreducing the transmission of influenza. The vaccine amongst healthcare workers helps patients by decreasing thechance of them being infected. Vaccinatinghealthcare workers can help reduce mortality.
Influenza is an important cause of mortalityand morbidity. Mortality deals with thefact of death, but morbidity deals with the condition of being diseased. Mostimportantly, there are only very few risks associated with the vaccine. The most frequent side effects reported asmild pain or swelling in the injection site. Moreover, healthcare association influenza occurs in bothacute and long term health care facilities. This affects both patients and staff andaffects the delivery of care and is especiallyimportant in wards and institutions caring for young children or elderlypeople. It was also shown that is costeffective to have health care workers vaccinated. This was shown by an economicevaluation.
Public health authorities have strongly recommended that healthcare workers in the health care environment receive influenza vaccines. Thisprotects both patients and workers in healthcare settings. Despite the health authority’srecommendations for vaccines, the rates for immunizations world-wide are disappointinglylow. These rates show that health careworkers are at an increased risk for health associated influenza.
This poses a serious health threat duringinfluenza outbreaks. The rates of immunization can be increased by offeringfree immunizations, and providing on site vaccines for staff. The Infectious Disease Society of Americasuggests that voluntary immunizations are not effective and therefore mandatoryprograms are needed. Some countriesalready have mandatory programs in effect. Currently at least four US stateshave mandatory programs in effect for nursing homes and hospitals. There are certain exemptions such as medicaland religious reasons.
Another important issue is childhood immunizations; theseare required at most state schools. Children’s vaccines like the otherimmunizations provide benefits for both the individual and the rest of thepopulation. Immunizations can save children’s lives. There are many advantagesin medical science which means children can be protected against diseases. Thewhooping cough is one of the vaccines for children; this causes violentcoughing or a whoop in inhaling which leads to symptoms of vomiting anddifficulty breathing. To date this year, more than 19,000 cases of whoopingcough have been reported to the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention,this is twice the amount as the year before.
Diseases that killed or injuredthousands of people are being eliminated completely due to safe and effectivevaccines. Currently all 50 stateshave some type of mandated vaccines for school aged children. In most states parents can only opt out dueto medical or religious reasons.
Thegovernment continues to expand the list of mandatory vaccines required such asHepatitis B which rarely affects children. In addition, the law in most states requires that parentsvaccinate their children before entering kindergarten no matter what thesituation was. However, a student may get out ofa vaccination for religious beliefs. Vaccinations are required for all studentsunless it is for a medical reason. A medical reason for example, would be consideredsomeone with cancer.
Not every vaccination is going to be a hundred percent,but with all the children being vaccinated, it protects the classroom from anytype of illness. It is good idea for children to be vaccinated for school. This give a protection to the classroom, evenif it’s not 100% effective, if most children are vaccinated it can prevent anoutbreak in the classroom of something such as measles or chicken pox. Some parents do feel that certain vaccinescause autism or other disabilities but medical personnel say no. The AmericanAcademy of Pediatrics, the CDC, and The World Health Organization all say thereis no relationship between vaccines and autism. Science has not proven there is a link between the two, but with oneperson’s story and today’s social media that is all it takes to spread thisword. Additionally, immunizations today prevent two to threemillion deaths annually. According the World Health Organization, theamount of children receiving immunizations have remained steady.
Vaccines now protect people from diseasesthat once killed in masses; an example such as Polio which is usuallycontracted through feces has been making a return. It is highly infectious andaffects mostly young children; this disease affects the nervous system andcould cause paralysis. Although vaccines have proven to be effective atreducing deaths from preventable diseases, there are still over 18 millioninfants world-wide that have not received vaccines.
Some reasons for not vaccinating lie with themedia and their biased portrayals of the effects of vaccinations. In the UnitedStates many parents claim religious beliefs for reasons not to get theirchildren vaccinated, when none in fact of most prominent religions practiced inthe world directly prohibit their followers from vaccinating. It is possible to end all preventable diseasesand save thousands of children, yet some parents and people still refuse tovaccinate their children, this puts all other children of the world at risk.Whether people choose to vaccinate themselves or theirchildren is their decision. However,their decision affects the people around them. Many people could care lessabout being vaccinated because they are not affected by vaccinations and couldcare less about the effects of others. Not all places have vaccines beingmandated by law, but it is a firm belief that vaccinations should be mandated.Many people are dying and affected by the diseases that they cannot defendthemselves against.
People should be cautious and think of others when it comesto vaccinations because it can prevent many people from getting sick or gettinga disease that cannot be helped. Vaccinations are very simple to receive and donot take long to do so, it should not be controversial considering vaccinationsare easy to receive and administer. Vaccinations keep people safe and healthy,therefore there should be no option or question whether to be vaccinated ornot.
On the other hand mandatory vaccinations can be seen ascoercive or invasive especially if it is considered part of a condition ofemployment. “More nurses may view vaccinationsas a personal health choice rather than an obligatory patient safety measure” (Hellyer,2011). Some feel vaccinations should not be mandatory for health care workersbecause it could raise liability issues.
For example, a liability issue could be if something went wrong with thevaccination, they could be sued. There are few downfalls that could come frommandating, such as legal actions and lawsuits. Also people view mandatory vaccines as a violation of rights. In the United States the influenza immunizationin health care workers has a poor track record, as recent studies show thereare only documented vaccines of 35-40%.
A few studies site a reduction of influenza infection and mortalityamong elderly. Programs that are considered mandatory only allow exemptions forreligious reasons. Programs that allowfor “personal reasons” are not truly mandatory, these would beconsidered voluntary vaccinations.
Some of the reasons mandatory vaccinationsshould not happen: mandatory penalty of unemployment, employees could feelalienated; mandating vaccines could cause rise for legal challenges; raiseliabilities, such as side effects; mandated flu vaccines could divert focus byproviding a false sense of security; healthcare workers must sign a formstating that they declined the shot, like a signed consent saying theyunderstand the risks of not receiving it. In conclusion, health care institutions have many ways tokeep workers vaccinated. Healthcarefacilities offer things such as free vaccines, education about the vaccines,small incentives, reminders, and actually as a condition of employment. Somehealth care workers feel they are healthy and there is no need for the vaccine.They feel the benefit does not outweigh the possible adverse events after theimmunization, the more knowledge that is shared with health care workers, andparents would create a bigger buy in for the immunizations. Works Cited Anikeeva, Olga, et al.”Requiring Influenza Vaccination for Health Care Workers.” American Journalof Public Health, vol.
99, no. 1, Jan. 2009, pp. 24-29. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.
136440. Hellyer, Joan M.Henriksen, et al. “Attitudes toward and Uptake of H1N1 Vaccine amongHealth CareWorkers during the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic.” Plos ONE, vol. 6, no.
12, Dec.2011, pp. 1-7.