Composition 300, Colorado State University

Vaccinations

Final Alphabetic Argument

Grace Harris

Prevent Disease – Immunize

Deciding whether to vaccinate your child can be a confusing and difficult decision. You only want what is best for your child and their developmental health is of first importance. Their first few years of life are filled with exciting times of discovery and wonder. Along with this curiosity of life comes contact with bacteria and viruses which their natural immune system may not be strong enough to fight. A sure way to prevent your child from infection with deadly diseases is to vaccinate. This is the only way you can be assured that regardless of other parent’s decisions to immunize, your child is free from infection.

A surprising finding is that vaccination rates in certain areas have been on the decline over the past decade. In the 1990’s the national average was approximately 77 percent compliance with federal recommendations and in recent years has risen to 79 percent. Although this is positive news for society, specific areas have seen significant decrease in vaccination rates. According to the Bangor Dailey News in Maine in the 1990’s the state had one of the highest compliance rates of 89 percent and has dropped drastically to 72.9 percent in 2007. The director of Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Dora Ann Mills says these declining numbers are based on, “a growing population of parents who fear that the immunizations may be linked to autism and other neurological disorders – fears she said are founded on ‘misinformation’.” She says another major driver is the declining economy. In the 1990’s when compliance rate was at the highest the state purchased the necessary vaccinations for children. In a report released in 2009 by KidsCount finds that there has been an increase in low birth-weight infants, premature births and high numbers of children poverty. With this decrease in children’s health it is crucial for children to be vaccinated to federal recommendation standards. KidsCount encourages all parents that it is necessary to vaccinate your children and it will ensure your child a bright future free of disease.

If you are unable to afford the recommended vaccinations due to the declining economy an organization called Vaccines for Children covers Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, Alaskan and Native American populations and some underinsured children for routine immunizations up to 18 years of age. The vaccines are provided by the government and administered in the doctor’s office. All parents should demand their rights for a healthy child and therefore a healthy society.

Another finding by Anne Schuchat director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases finds that vaccination rates are higher for white Americans than for blacks and Hispanics combined. She claims, “As a culture, we really don’t think about prevention first. We think about getting treated when we’re really sick, but not all the steps we can take in advance.” Preventative medicine is an important measure that can save billions of dollars and most importantly lives. In fact CDC officials estimate that with full compliance of federal recommendations for vaccinating children from birth to adolescence saves 33,000 lives, prevents 14 million infections and saves $10 billion in medical costs.  This not only saves lives of those that are infected but also those who are unable to receive them such as newborns and cancer patients with compromised immune systems.  They are protected through a herd-immunity which is formed when all citizens receive their recommended vaccinations and therefore less likely a virus or bacterium will enter a group and infect a vulnerable person. When the immunizations rates drop this immunity grows thinner and people more are susceptible to diseases.

A survey released from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases found that the majority of Americans feel that diseases such as measles, mumps, diphtheria and tetanus have been eradicated from the population. Although these diseases are not common in the United States they still exist in other parts of the world and can easily be transmitted through travel. Even if you do not travel this includes people coming into the United States who have not been vaccinated. As immunization rates fall, infection will rise. In 1991 a measles outbreak was caused when a religious group in Philadelphia chose not to immunize its children. In this isolated event eight lives were lost and 700 people, who were mostly children, were sickened. The measles virus is so contagious that before widespread vaccinations most children were sickened by the disease before they were 20.

Another outbreak occurred in 2005 when a child from Indiana who had not been immunized was infected with the measles virus at an orphanage in Romania and bought it back to her church group. In less than a month 31 people had been infected and this was Romania’s worst outbreak of the measles virus in more than a decade. Although vaccination rates have increased in the United States there is no way of knowing if someone else’s child has been vaccinated. The best way to know that your child will not be endangered by an outbreak is through immunization.

With all the conflicting information out there about vaccinations some parents have decided not to immunize their children. In 1998 there was a research study which linked the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination, specifically a chemical in MMR thimerosal, to autism.  Autism is a defined by Kids Health as, “a developmental disorder that’s characterized by mild to severe impairment of communication and social interaction skills.” The chemical thimerosal is an organic mercury compound that has been used as a preservative in vaccinations since the 1930’s. Since the release, numerous research studies conducted by health organizations have been refuting the information. Organizations such as Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease and Control Prevention and the World Health Organization have all found no link to this controversial study and have since rejected the information. The Institute of Medicine in 2004 conducted a groundbreaking report stating that the MMR vaccine and thimerosal is not connected to the developmental disorder autism. A U.S. Federal Court even ruled that there was no scientific evidence linking vaccinations to autism. A study was just released on September 13th in Pediatrics by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating finds that early life exposure to thimerosal in vaccines does not increase a child’s risk of developing autism.

Oppositions to vaccinations then question what has caused the increase in children diagnosed with autism. One reason according to Kids Health is that a broader definition of autism is now applied and greater awareness of the condition by parents and health officials and lead to an increase in diagnosis. The United Kingdom also has not found a correlation between diagnosis of autism and the MMR vaccination. Autism has been on the rise since 1979 but widespread vaccination of the MMR vaccination did not begin till 1988. Researchers have also concluded that symptoms of autism can be discovered earlier then when children begin receiving routine vaccinations. In most cases there are subtle symptoms of the condition before the child’s first birthday and in some instances in infancy. These conditions are usually noticed by parents when the child begins developing advance cognitive and social skills.

Kelly Lacey a mother of three stopped vaccinating her children when she learned about the alleged risk of thimerosal in vaccinations. Kelly came home one day to find her son feverish and gasping for air. When he was immediately rushed to the Emergency room, doctors discovered he had been infected with Hib, a bacterium which causes meningitis. Fortunately, her son recovered after several days in the hospital but this could have been avoided with vaccinations. Kelly states, “I am angry that people are promoting not getting vaccinated and messing with people’s lives like that.”

If you are still have doubts about vaccinations containing thimerosal measures are being taken to reduce the amount of mercury exposure in children. Vaccinations which contain little to no thimerosal are now available upon request.

Some parents oppose vaccinations because of the lack of personal choice the federal recommendations mandate in educational settings. In the majority of states access to public education relies on a child’s immunization record. In 1905 the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the need of society to mandate immunizations to citizens. According to Dr. Jane Seward the deputy direct of viral diseases at CDC, “The decision to vaccinate is a decision for your child but also a decision for society.” This right of choice was removed from society in order to better public health for current and future citizens.

A growing trend for parents seeking to avoid mandatory vaccinations is to claim religious exemption. Certain states made this option available to not interfere with Constitutional right of religious freedom. A small group of parents have been using this exemption even though their religious faith doesn’t prohibit vaccinations. The CDC found that states which allow religious exemption have seen increases for the exemption for children entering kindergarten. Although this number is growing it only represents a thousand of approximately 3.7 million children entering kindergarten.  Parents who object to vaccinations feel this is their only option and because their right of choice has been removed. This is even more reason for parents to vaccinate their children because even though a child is enrolled in school doesn’t necessarily mean they have been immunized. It is no longer a sense of security to believe all children in school have been vaccinated and that your child is safe.

Your child’s health and future relies on your decision to protect them against deadly diseases. In order to reduce the amount of people who are unable to obtain vaccines because of their current economic status, legislative change needs to be made. Programs such as Vaccines for Children are available for parents who may not be able to afford the recommended vaccinations. Also for parents who are worried about the thimerosal preservative they are now able to opt for vaccinations with little or none of the chemical contained. With these options and information you should be able to make an educated decision regarding your child’s health.

 

For more information please visit:

“Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition – Fears, Myths & Misconceptions.” Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition- Welcome. Web. 11 Nov. 2010. <http://www.childrensimmunization.org/fearsandmyths&gt;.

“Frequently Asked Questions About Immunizations.” KidsHealth – the Web’s Most Visited Site about      Children’s Health. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.         <http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/body/fact_myth_immunizations.html#&gt;.

 

Haskell, Meg. “Maine Kids’ Immunization Rates Decline — Bangor Daily News.” Maine High School and                 University Sports News and Scores — Bangor Daily News. 9 Mar. 2009. Web. 13 Nov. 2010.                 <http://new.bangordailynews.com/2009/03/09/politics/maine-kidsrsquo-immunization-rates- decline/>.

“More Evidence That Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism.” Yahoo! Health. 13 Sept. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.                 <http://health.yahoo.net/news/s/hsn/moreevidencethatvaccinesdontcauseautism&gt;.

“Parents Claim Religion to Avoid Vaccines for Kids – Health – Kids and Parenting – Msnbc.com.” Breaking                News, Weather, Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports, Politics, Travel, Science, Technology,                 Local, US & World News- Msnbc.com. 17 Nov. 2009. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.   <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21347434/&gt;.

Park, Alice. “How Safe Are Vaccines? – TIME.” Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos,      Video, Tech Reviews – TIME.com. 21 May 2008. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.    <http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1808438-3,00.html&gt;.

Salvador, Lourdes. “American Chronicle | Injurious Inoculation – Is Vaccination Behind Children´s              Declining Health?” American Chronicle. 1 June 2008. Web. 13 Nov. 2010.   <http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/63658&gt;.

Walker, Emily P. “Medical News: New CDC Study Finds Low Vaccination Rates – in Primary Care, Vaccines              from MedPage Today.” Medical News and Free CME from MedPage Today. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.                 <http://www.medpagetoday.com/PrimaryCare/Vaccines/15208&gt;.

 

 

 

 

ROUGH DRAFT–Grace Harris

Prevent Disease – Immunize

Deciding whether to vaccinate your child can be a confusing and difficult decision. You only want what is best for your child and their developmental health is of first importance. Their first few years of life are filled with discovery and wonder. Along with this curiosity of life comes contact with bacteria and viruses which their natural immune system may not be strong enough to fight. A sure way to prevent your child from infection with deadly diseases is with vaccinations. This way you can be rest assured that regardless of other parent’s decisions to immunize, your child is free from infection.

A surprising finding is that vaccination rates in certain areas have been on the decline over the past decade. In the 1990’s the national average was approximately 77 percent compliance with federal recommendations and in recent years has risen to 79 percent. Although this is great news for society specific areas have seen significant decrease in vaccination rates. For example in Maine in the 1990’s the state had one of the highest compliance rates of 89 percent and has dropped drastically to 72.9 percent in 2007. The director of Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Dora Ann Mills says these declining numbers are based on, “a growing population of parents who fear that the immunizations may be linked to autism and other neurological disorders – fears she said are founded on ‘misinformation’.” She says another major driver is the declining economy. In the 1990’s when compliance rate was at the highest the state purchased the necessary vaccinations for children. In a report released in 2009 by KidsCount finds that there has been an increase in low birth-weight infants, premature births and high numbers of children poverty. With this decrease in children’s health it is crucial for children to be vaccinated to federal recommendations. KidsCount encourages all parents that it is necessary to vaccinate your children and it will ensure your child a bright future free of disease.

If you are unable to afford the recommended vaccinations due to the declining economy, Vaccines for Children covers Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, Alaskan and Native American populations and some underinsured children for routine immunizations up to 18 years of age. The vaccines are provided by the government and administered in the doctor’s office. All parents should demand their rights for a healthy child and therefore a healthy society.

Another finding by Anne Schuchat director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases finds that vaccination rates are higher for white Americans than for blacks and Hispanics combined. She claims, “As a culture, we really don’t think about prevention first. We think about getting treated when we’re really sick, but not all the steps we can take in advance.” Preventative medicine is an important measure that can save billions of dollars and most importantly lives. In fact CDC official’s estimate that with full compliance of federal recommendations for vaccinating children from birth to adolescence saves 33,000 lives, prevents 14 million infections and saves $10 billion in medical costs.  This not only saves lives of those that are infected but also those who are unable to receive them such as newborns and cancer patients with compromised immune systems.  They are protected through a herd-immunity which is formed when all citizens receive their recommended vaccinations and therefore less likely a virus or bacterium will enter a group and infect a vulnerable person. When the immunizations rates drop this immunity grows thinner and more are susceptible to diseases.

A survey released from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases found that the majority of Americans feel that diseases such as measles, mumps, diphtheria and tetanus have been eradicated from the population. Although these diseases are not common in the United States they still exist in other parts of the world and can easily come into contact through travel. Even if you do not travel this includes people coming into the United States who have not been vaccinated. As immunization rates fall, infection will rise. In 1991 a measles outbreak was caused when a religious group in Philadelphia chose not to immunize its children. In this one isolated event it caused eight lives and sickened 700 people mostly which are children. The measles virus is so contagious that before widespread vaccinations most children were sickened by the disease before they were 20.

Another outbreak occurred in 2005 which a child from Indiana had not been immunized picked up the measles virus at an orphanage in Romania and bought it back to a church group. In less than a month 31 people had been infected and this was Romania’s worst outbreak of the measles virus in more than a decade. Although vaccination rates have increased in the United States there is no way of knowing if someone else’s child has been vaccinated. The best way to know that your child will not be endangered by an outbreak is through immunization.

With all the conflicting information out there about vaccinations some parents have decided not to immunize their children. In 1998 there was a research study which linked the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination, specifically a chemical in MMR thimersoal, to autism.  Autism is a defined as, “a developmental disorder that’s characterized by mild to severe impairment of communication and social interaction skills.” The chemical thimerosal is an organic mercury compound that has been used as a preservative in vaccinations since the 1930’s. Since the release numerous research studies conducted by health organizations have been refuting the information. Organizations such as Institute of Medicine, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease and Control Prevention and the World Health Organization have all found no link to the controversy study and have since rejected the information. The Institute of Medicine in 2004 conducted a groundbreaking report stating that the MMR vaccine and thimerosal is not connected to the developmental disorder autism. A U.S. Federal Court even ruled that there was no scientific evidence linking vaccinations to autism. A study was just released on September 13th in Pediatrics by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating finds that early life exposure to thimerosal in vaccines does not increase a child’s risk of developing autism.

Oppositions to vaccinations then question what has caused the increase in children diagnosed with autism. One reason is that a broader definition of autism is now applied and greater awareness of the condition by parents and health officials and lead to an increase in diagnosis. The United Kingdom also has not found a correlation between diagnosis of autism and the MMR vaccination. Autism has been on the rise since 1979 but widespread vaccination of the MMR vaccination did not begin till 1988. Also researchers have found that symptoms of autism can be found earlier then when children begin receiving routine vaccinations. In most cases there are subtle symptoms of the condition before the child’s first birthday and in some instances in infancy. These conditions are usually noticed by parents when the child begins developing advance cognitive and social skills.

Kelly Lacey a mother of three stopped vaccinating her children when she learned about the alleged risk of thimerosal in vaccinations. Kelly came home one day to find her son feverish and gasping for air. When he was immediately rushed to the Emergency room doctors discovered he had been infected with Hib, a bacterium which causes meningitis. Fortunately, the child recovered after several days in the hospital but this could have all been avoided with vaccinations. Kelly states, “I am angry that people are promoting not getting vaccinated and messing with people’s lives like that.”

If you are still have doubts about thimerosal vaccinations measures are being taken to reduce the amount of mercury exposed to children. Vaccinations which contain little to no thimerosal are now available.

Some parents oppose vaccinations due to the lack of personal choice the mandatory federal recommendations set in education settings. In the majority of states access to public education lies on a child’s immunization record. In 1905 the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the need of society to mandate immunizations to citizens. According to the Dr. Jane Seward the deputy direct of viral diseases at CDC, “The decision to vaccinate is a decision for your child but also a decision for society.” This proves that the removal of choice of mandatory vaccinations is only to better the health of your child and their future.

A growing trend for parents seeking to avoid mandatory vaccinations is claiming religious exemption. Certain states made this option available to not interfere with Constitutional rights of religious freedoms. A small group of parents have been using this exemption even though their religious faith doesn’t prohibit vaccinations. The CDC found that states which allow religious exemption have seen increases for the exemption for children entering kindergarten. Although this number is growing it only represents a thousand of approximately 3.7 million children entering kindergarten.  Parents who object to vaccinations feel this is their only option and that their rights have been removed from them. This is even more reason for parents to get their children vaccinated because even though a child is enrolled in school doesn’t necessarily mean they have been vaccinated. It is no longer a sense of security to believe all children in school have been vaccinated and that your child is safe. The only way to ensure the health of your child is to follow the federal recommendations.

Your child’s health and future relies on your decision to protect them against deadly diseases. In order to reduce the amount of people who are unable to get vaccinate because of economic decisions legislative change needs to be made. Programs such as Vaccines for Children are available for parents who may not be able afford the recommended vaccinations. Also for parents who are worried about the thimerosal preservative parents are able opt for vaccinations with little or none of the chemical contained. With these options parents should see no reason to not have the means to get their children vaccinated. Or at least will now be able to make an educated decision regarding the preventative health of your child.

 

“How Safe Are Vaccines? – TIME.” Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews – TIME.com. 21 May 2008. Web. 12 Nov. 2010. <http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1808438-3,00.html&gt;.

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