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Immunizations: Who Should Be Calling the Shots?

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Immunizations: Who Should be Calling the Shots?

Immunizations: Who Should be Calling the Shots? Vaccines can prevent outbreaks of disease and save lives. By immunizing a critical portion of a community, most of us are protected from the disease because there is little chance for an outbreak. By reducing the number of people who are not immune, we can contain the spread of contagious disease. This is known as “community immunity” or “herd immunity” ("Vaccines.gov", n.d.). Diseases such as measles and pertussis were once highly feared and vaccines for these diseases have played an important part in reducing the transmissions of these and other deadly diseases. (Luthy, DNP,FNP, Beckstrand, RN, PhD, CCRN, CNE, Callister, RN, PhD, FAAN, & Cahoon, SN, 2012).
While many people fear that immunizations can have harmful side effects such as developmental delays in children or that the government and pharmaceutical companies are profiting from the sale of immunizations, parents who choose to not immunize their children are putting the general public at risk. We must act now to encourage parents to vaccinate in order to prevent widespread outbreaks of once deadly diseases.
Personal Beliefs
There are currently 20 states that allow vaccine exemption based on parents’ personal beliefs, and this is becoming increasingly prevalent. Parents’ personal decisions to exempt their children from receiving vaccinations often stems from a false sense of security that if everyone else is vaccinated, they should not risk the side effects when their children are healthy. These parents are often unknowingly contributing to potentially serious health and economic consequences. If enough parents in a community refuse to vaccinate their children, an infectious disease can spread quickly among us and threaten all unvaccinated children, vaccinated adults with weakened immune...

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