Disadvantages Of Vaccination Essay

Although vaccination has proved to be an effective measure in preventing disease, controversies remain over whether the risks of side effects of vaccinations outweigh the risk of contracti the disease. Vaccination is the process when pathogenic cells are injected into the cells of a healthy person so that the body develops immunity through antibodies to that virus or bacterium.

The U. S Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get 16 vaccines including Diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae, influenza, human papillomavirus, measles, meningococcal, mumps, pertussis, pneumococcal, polio, rotavirus, rubella, tetanus, and varicella (Merino 7-8). Vaccines, along with an acute amount of the disease itself, contain diluents, adjuvants, preservatives, stabilizers, and remnants from manufacturing such as formalin (Merino 19). There are many benefits to vaccination. For one, vaccinations prevent life-threatening diseases.

They also decrease the cost of illness because there are less people to treat. Vaccines are the second most preventative measure in public health after the chlorination of water (Prymula 56) and they decrease the chance of epidemics (Merino 12). In general, they can help rid the world of disease. The MMR vaccination protects against measles, mumps and rubella. Measles causes fever, rash, cold-like symptoms, and inflamed eyes. It can also lead to pneumonia and Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. 40% of European measles cases in 2009, and 23% of US measles cases in 2001-2008, were hospitalized (Gerber 4).

These conditions can lead to seizures, deafness or permanent brain damage. About one person in 3,000 with measles can die from complications. Mumps causes fever, headaches, and swelling of the salivary glands and cheeks. Complications that are more serious include encephalitis and mumps meningitis. Mumps can also cause temporary deafness. Rubella can cause serious complications and birth defects in an unborn baby including deafness, eye problems, heart defects, liver damage, and brain damage. It occurs in about 9 out of 10 babies born to women who become infected with the virus in the first 3 months of their pregnancy.

Rubella can also cause miscarriage or stillbirth (Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine). The MMR vaccine protects individuals from these symptoms and is usually administered at a young age because children do not have a fully developed immunity yet. A study shows that infants receiving MMR after three doses of inactivated diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and Haemophilus influenzae b vaccine had a significantly lower hospitalization rate for all infectious diseases than those receiving MMR before the third dose (Unexpected Benefits from MMR Vaccine).

On the contrary, studies have shown several drawbacks to vaccinations as well. Andrew Wakefield, a Canadian surgeon, conducted a study in 1998 where 8 of 12 participants experienced ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) symptoms after receiving the MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine (Kerr 50). This study was proven faulty and this relation has since been disproved. In December 2010, however, a survey was initiated by Vaccinelnjury. info. Out of 7850 people, vaccinated people had symptoms of Asthma, ADHD, Allergies, and Neurodermatitis.

Source: Dr. Mercola Chronic Disease Vaccinated Unvaccinated Allergies 40% 3000 of these immunological components in the 7 vaccines administered in 1980. Autism is not an immunemediated disease. Unlike autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, there is no evidence of immune activation or inflammatory lesions in the CNS of people with autism. In fact, current data suggest that genetic variation in neuronal circuitry that affects synaptic development might in part account for autistic behavior. Twenty epidemiologic studies have shown that neither thimerosal nor MMR vaccine causes autism. Gerber 3).

To promote safety, several precautions should be considered before receiving an MMR vaccination. Those who have had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of measles, mumps, or rubella vaccine, have an immune system weakened by disease or medical treatment, have had a drop in platelets, and/ or have had a blood transfusion or received other blood products within the past 12 months, or are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should not get the vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine).

There is also controversy regarding the HPV, or human papillomavirus, vaccination. About 20 states are considering making this vaccine mandatory for preteen girls. Human papillomavirus is thought to be the leading cause of cervical cancer. Gardasil, a vaccine, could eliminate 70 percent of HPV if females are vaccinated before becoming sexually active. The FDA approved this vaccine in 2006 for girls between 9 and 26 (Merino 73-74). Legislating this mandatory vaccine can prevent death and protect the community from disease.

About 30 types of HPV are anogenital, or of the anus and genitals, and half of those are oncogenic, or able to cause tumors. These may lead to more invasive cancers. Genital warts are also a possibility. The presence of HPV in 14-24 year old woman is 33. 8 percent, about 7. 5 million females. These infections are transient and do not usually progress to more serious effects such as cancer. Cervical cancer is the second most cause of cancer death in women. The HPV vaccine has proved to be effective against HPV 16 and 18.

Those who received the vaccine before exposure had better immune responses (Merino 76-80). Rates of anal, head, and neck cancer due to HPV infection have been rapidly increasing in both men and women, and there are no recommended screening tests available for these forms of cancer. Parents don’t want to promote a vaccine to their child relating to hetero or homosexual activity, especially to boys (HPV Vaccine: Controversy and Solution). The majority of parents (65%, 148/229) reported their daughters experienced pain or discomfort following receipt of HPV vaccine, with pain more ommonly reported at the time of injection (58%, 133/229) than in the hours and days following vaccination (45%) (Reiter 1). Pain from HPV vaccination has been reported by parents as being similar to or less than pain from other adolescent vaccines their daughters have received (Reiter 4). Cervical cancer is only expected to causes less than 2% deaths in the U. S, dramatically dropping from 1955. Low-income women are less likely to receive regular Pap smears. It is unclear where those funds would come from for the HPV vaccine.

HPV is also a new drug with no history (Engdahl 87). A problem that may be caused by abstaining from vaccines is a dent in herd immunity. Herd immunity is the protection from a disease cause by the immunity of a majority of people. This may eventually lead to complete eradication of the disease. With less and less people receiving vaccinations, this method may become obsolete. Based on the pros and cons of the MMR vaccine, autism and other severe side effects do not seem to be a major problem.

The more severe adverse reactions from this chart include joint symptoms, thrombocytopenia, parotitis, deafness, and encephalopathy. However, these are very rare in the chances that they do occur. The stigma surrounding the HPV vaccination is worse than its side effects. The Hepatitis B, or HBV, vaccine is another vaccination that sparks controversy. Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by a virus, but less than one percent of cases occur in those under 15 (Merino 35). It can cause infection, scarring of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and eath (“Hepatitis B Vaccination).

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has also been associated with the HBV vaccine, which is usually administered at a very young age. MS is a disease of the central nervous system where the myelin sheath surrounding neurons is destructed, resulting in the formation of plaques. It is also known as a demyelinating disease. Based on a study, children who received a specific type of hepatitis B vaccine (Engerix B) more than 3 years earlier were found to have a slightly increased risk of having a confirmed diagnosis of MS (Hepatitis B Vaccination).

Based on a French study, the Engerix B vaccine increases the risk of multiple sclerosis in the long-run (Hepatitis B Vaccine and the Risk of CNS Inflammatory Demyelination in Childhood). A study was conducted using Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) project to study the association between hepatitis B vaccination and MS among members of 3 large managed care organizations (MCO’s). The study included 422 adults with a demyelinating disease and 921 matched controls (people of similar age, gender, and MCO status who did not have demyelinating disease).

The researchers concluded that hepatitis B vaccination was not associated with demyelinating disease in the study population (FAQs about HB and Multiple Sclerosis). In 2014, French researchers found a definite correlation between HBV and MS after analyzing several sets of studies and information. There is a huge peak of MS culminating in the years 1995 (229 reports) and 1996 (246 reports). This peak of post-vaccine neurological disorders during the period 19941998 corresponds to the beginning of the campaign and intense promotion of the HB vaccination in France (Houezec 221).

Ethically, mandatory vaccinations reduce freedoms. The Vaccine for Rubella, part of the MMR vaccine, is produced from aborted fetal tissue and is against Catholic beliefs. The chicken poxvaccine, Varavax, also produced from fetal tissue, may cause actual chicken pox in 3% of recipients. Several alternative vaccines such as Engerix and Comvac are produced using yeast and others such as IPOL and Pediacel are produced from monkey kidney cells or chicken embryos. In several cases, children have been expelled from school because of lack of cooperation with mandated vaccination laws in school.

These beliefs, however, threaten community health (Merino 63-71). As a whole, there is a lot of evidence that supports the dangers of vaccines, but there are also many benefits. There is not a lot of sufficient data to support the validity of severe side effects of these three vaccinations. Despite several side effects, the percentages are rather low and are mainly due to external factors or the intake of multiple vaccinations in one dose. MMR’s linkage with autism proved faulty through several studies and is not in effect today because of the removal of thimerosal from most, if not all, vaccinations.