Many parents chose not to vaccinate their children or themselves, based on their personal beliefs. However, many people are ignorant to the fact that some people are unable to receive the vaccination due to factors beyond their control. According to the Center for Disease Control, people with severe allergies to certain vaccination ingredients, certain diseases, any type of cancer, blood disorders, as well as other conditions, are highly advised not to receive vaccinations, as the risks are immediately life threatening. That being said there are many diseases that these people are susceptible to.
This makes a good argument, that parents’ vaccinating their children is a civic duty. Parents that make the choice against vaccinations are not only potentially putting their own families’ at risk, but other people including children, who unfortunately are not able to be vaccinated.
Forrest Brown, from the Cavalier Daily, recently wrote an article, “For the Greater Good” that draws attention to this important and relevant issue. “Measles was supposed to have been eliminated in the U.S. more than 10 years ago. But in a Texas community where vaccination is discouraged for religious reasons, there has been a recent outbreak among 21 people who for the most part were not immunized. This is not an uncommon problem. People who avoid vaccines tend to live near each other in the same communities, usually because their anti-vaccine views come from the same religious or cultural sources.”
The fact, that many people who hold the anti-vaccine position, commonly live in concentrated communities, is a problem. In the instances when these, vaccine prevented diseases occur, epidemics and outbreaks are likely to be far more dangerous and likely to continue to spread. This is more hazardous than it solely spreading to the entire unvaccinated community, but the increased number of infected people will, increases the likelihood of the disease being spread outside the specific community.
In addition to allergies and diseases, age is also a factor in immunizations. According to U.S. Department of Health, “we have seen resurgences of measles and whooping cough (pertussis) over the past few years. In 2010 the U.S. had over 21,000 cases of whooping cough reported and 26 deaths, most in children younger than 6 months.” The CDC does not recommend the vaccine for whooping cough until age two, so unfortunately, newborns and infants are greatly at risk.
These people, who decide against vaccinations, think that choosing to be vaccine free is their own right and at their own risk, when in reality: they are clearly putting everyone at risk.