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  • Writer's pictureNadav Cohen

Should Children be Required to Take Vaccines?

The idea of having the right to decide whether or not to vaccinate your kids is on you, but it is always good to enhance your own opinion, especially when someone you know is working through this decision, perhaps a relative or a friend. You’re only helping them by providing them with the facts and having a discussion with them. However, I strongly urge you to take the pro-vaccine side in this debate.

Children at a young age are more prone to developing diseases since they are surrounded by billions of germs and only have a developing immune system. This is why all fifty states require children to take vaccines before entering public schools. However, anti-vaxxers say that taking the vaccines only worsens a child’s immune system. They argue that children’s immune systems can naturally fight off most infections, and putting all the questionable vaccine ingredients such as aluminum, gelatin, or mercury-into a child’s body can cause side effects, including seizures, paralysis, and death.

On top of that, anti-vaxxers make the point that the government should not be interfering in one’s personal medical choices for their own children, saying that the guardians, or parents, should be able to decide how they can handle their child’s health, as they know their children the best. Additionally, the usage of vaccines oppose religious beliefs of not taking vaccines, and according to the first amendment of the US Constitution, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." So, by requiring vaccinations, the government is disregarding the constitution.

On the other hand, vaccinations save millions of lives by providing and preparing our natural immune systems with the strength to fight against illnesses such as rubella, diphtheria, smallpox, polio, and whooping cough. These diseases that once harmed or killed hundreds of thousands of children have been eliminated completely with the usage of the vaccines. In addition, despite anti-vaxxer arguments that vaccinations may cause all sorts of diseases, the countless scientists and doctors that evaluate these vaccinations deem them safe to use, as well as 90%-99% effective in preventing diseases. Additionally, studies, such as Andrew Wakefield’s in 1998 and 2002, have been proven to be flawed. The vast majority of medical organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), agree that vaccinations are safe.

Furthermore, vaccinations can save families time as well as money, due to the fact that parents would not have to skip work in order to tend their sick child or pay for medical attention. Since insurance covers the cost of vaccinations, they do not cost a lot. Even nationwide, our economy has been aided by vaccinations, as the CDC estimates that children vaccinated between 1994 and 2014 have yielded net savings of $1.38 trillion in "societal costs," including money saved by preventing lost productivity due to disability and early death.

Many of the anti-vaxxers’ claims of disastrous side effects extremely unlikely, making vaccines beneficial for the future generations as well as our economy as a whole.

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