Immunity is the human body’s major instrument to address diverse threats related to infections. People develop immunity when exposed to an infectious disease, and this mechanism was used by scientists to develop effective strategies to prevent the spread of numerous diseases. As far back as the eighteenth century, different forms of immunization took place. In the twentieth century, this method proved to be effective and, in the twenty-first century, the USA eliminated the epidemics of some infectious diseases such as measles (Hausman, “Immunity, Modernity, and the Biopolitics” 282). New cases of this disorder are believed to be brought to the USA. Irrespective of this effectiveness, vaccination is still associated with considerable resistance as many people tie this prevention instrument to the development of serious disorders. People are also concerned about the chemical used in vaccines and the potentially harmful impact. At the same time, vaccination remains the most effective technique in infectious diseases spread, so it should be implemented because it saves lives.
Proved Effectiveness and the Benefits of Vaccination
Immunization became the key to addressing several serious illnesses that had led to numerous epidemics in the world. The development of vaccines to prevent such health issues as measles, diphtheria, mumps, polio, tetanus, rubella, and pertussis led to unprecedented positive effects on public health in the twentieth century (Hausman, “Anti/Vax” 21). Children received routine vaccines, and the spread of the dangerous diseases mentioned above has been under control in the United States, as well as the vast majority of countries.
Vaccination ensures that people do not get infected or recover faster and without complications. In the past, polio, as well as other infections, were seen as a death sentence to a person. Immunization became an instrument to prevent people from developing dangerous symptoms. Influenza is another illustration of a serious infection that has been effectively addressed with the help of vaccines. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), if 75% of the population is immunized, 40-50% of hospitalizations and deaths linked to influenza can be prevented (Kassianos et al. 2). As mentioned above, the country has not seen serious epidemics of the major infectious illnesses since the second part of the twentieth century.
Arguments Against Vaccination
Irrespective of the facts regarding the effectiveness of vaccines, many people resist immunization. Several reasons against immunization exist, but the most common negative attitudes are associated with possible complications and the use of chemicals to produce vaccines. One of the most widespread myths related to vaccination remains the one associated with the assumed connection between measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and the development of autism in children (DeStefano and Shimabukuro 585). Thousands of Americans still believe that the vaccine leads to the development of this serious disorder, so many parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Nevertheless, numerous studies have shown that the link between MMR vaccination and autism is non-existent (Hviid et al. 513). MMR vaccination does not trigger or causes the development of autism, even in children whose siblings have this disorder.
Another common argument against immunization is related to the use of different chemicals to produce vaccines. Many people claim that vaccines contain potentially dangerous chemical compounds that can have negative effects on their children’s health, so they choose to avoid vaccination (Hausman, “Anti/Vax” 181). These arguments are specifically popular among people concerned about healthy lifestyles and environmental issues. Although some chemicals are used to produce vaccines, their negative effects on people’s health are minimal. Moreover, this adverse influence is outweighed by the benefits of living a life free from the diseases mentioned above as they can lead to serious complications or even death. At this point, it is necessary to note that sometimes vaccines may pose threats to individuals due to allergic reactions or other side effects, but these cases are not numerous.
Vaccines Should Be Implemented
Although it is necessary to admit that vaccines may have certain negative effects in some cases, immunization is beneficial for public health. Vaccines preventing such dangerous illnesses as polio, diphtheria, or measles helped many countries to prevent epidemics that used to result in thousands of deaths and millions of dollars of losses for their healthcare systems. By reaching the necessary rate of immunized population (75%), countries can ensure minimal negative effects related to the diseases mentioned above (Kassianos et al. 2). Children do not get infected and live healthy lives in their adulthood, which is the result of effective vaccination policies in the United States. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that the necessary part of society receives vaccines so that the country did not have to face dangerous and potentially devastating public health issues.
On balance, it is necessary to note that vaccination remains one of the most disputable topics linked to the area of people’s health. Although the benefits of immunization have been proved, some people are resistant. Some Americans still believe that MMR vaccines result in the development of autism in children. Others oppose vaccination due to the use of chemicals that, in their opinion, can cause more harm than do good. However, recent research shows that these arguments are not evidence-based, while the positive outcomes of vaccination have been largely acknowledged. Thus, it is important to continue the existing vaccination policies, but it is also vital to enhance educational efforts to convince people and make them more responsible.
DeStefano, Frank, and Tom T. Shimabukuro. “The MMR Vaccine and Autism.” Annual Review of Virology, vol. 6, no. 1, 2019, pp. 585-600.
Hausman, Bernice L. Anti/Vax: Reframing the Vaccination Controversy. Cornell University Press, 2019.
—. “Immunity, Modernity, and the Biopolitics of Vaccination Resistance.” Configurations, vol. 25, no. 3, 2017, pp. 279-300.
Hviid, Anders, et al. “Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccination and Autism”. Annals of Internal Medicine, vol. 170, no. 8, 2019, pp. 513-521.
Kassianos, George, et al. “Key Policy and Programmatic Factors to Improve Influenza Vaccination Rates Based on the Experience from Four High-Performing Countries.” Drugs in Context, vol. 9, 2021, pp. 1-13.