|POSITION RESEARCH PAPER||1|
POSITION RESEARCH PAPER 2
Position Paper Report
Should Parents be Allowed to Refuse Immunizations that are Required for Schools?
Section I: Statement of the Issue
Immunization is a process through which the person is fortified or immunized against a particular disease or disorder. The underlying problem is that the parental refusal to vaccinate their children is increasing and has serious public health consequences. The problem has come from the observations of the recent pandemic when parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Refusal to vaccinate children is a public health issue because it increases the risk of spreading diseases to others. According to the World Health Organization regarding a joint statement from the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities, both the authorities from the public health and healthcare professionals have shown a profound interest in the debate of vaccination against the pandemic. Also from the UNICEF data, there is a clear trend of increased refusal for vaccination and immunization among various populations. For example, 16 percent of those from low-income countries have only received one vaccine dose relative to 80 percent in the high-income countries (Unicef, 2022). Among many factors causing this decline are disruptions in the service and supply chain, diversion of resources to response efforts, and perhaps some of the containment approaches that placed constraints to the accessibility of the immunization service. However, global vaccination is progressively declining, because in 2021, 25 million children missed out on life saving vaccines and this was 8 million more than in 2020 and 2019 combined (Unicef, 2022). This can be seen in a rise in outbreaks and cases in recent years. Various studies have shown that children who are not vaccinated have a higher chance of developing the disease than children who are. They also have a higher chance of spreading the disease to others. For example, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. found that unvaccinated children were 15 times more likely to contract whooping cough than vaccinated children. The CDC is concerned about the increased refusal to vaccinate for several reasons. Firstly, the increasing number of cases and outbreaks of diseases that have previously been controlled or eliminated is concerning. Secondly, CDC is concerned about the increasing number of deaths from diseases that were once preventable by vaccination. According to the study conducted by Phadke et al. (2016) on vaccination, refusal for measles and pertussis indicate that nearly one million people who died from COVID-19 may have lived if they had vaccinated against measles and pertussis.
The controversial factor is whether parents should have the right to refuse the vaccination of their children. No doubt, vaccination of children to immunize them against certain diseases is in the best interest of society at large. Some parents do not want their children to be immunized and refuse it. In this situation, it becomes controversial whether the parents have the right of refusal or if it is the government’s right to make it mandatory. The issue is controversial because vaccinations are necessary for children, but whether parents’ refusal is an acceptable action needs to be addressed. This issue is controversial because, in most countries, there is a legal obligation to vaccinate children against certain diseases. The right of parents to refuse vaccination for their children is legally limited, as parents are required to ensure that their children do not pose a risk of infection to others in schools. There are several reservations about the right of parents to refuse vaccination. (Farhad Ali Khattak, 2021) Has given some reasons for vaccination and objections of parents. Key among them is a lack of trust. Parents’ reservations are the fear of side effects and the lack of trust in the doctors. (Harman, 2022) have published the effects of unvaccinated people in a population. One effect is that unvaccinated children pose a risk of infection to other people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Another important effect is that some diseases have been almost eradicated in many parts of the world, whereas unvaccinated people can reintroduce them into areas where they had previously disappeared. The controversy about this issue is also fueled by some studies showing that vaccines may have adverse side effects. Some people believe that vaccinations can be replaced by natural ways of preventing infectious diseases (e.g., nutrition). Doctors and other immunization experts disagree with parents’ right to refuse vaccination because they believe that the right of one person (the child) is not more important than the right of another person (the child’s playmates, relatives, and so on). However, reservations like religious objections, allergies, and side effects are not the only reasons for parents not wanting to have their children vaccinated. Some parents do not know enough about vaccines and fear possible complications after vaccination. Others find that, as a rule, vaccinations are not justified because the risk of infectious diseases is much smaller than it used to be. The unvaccinated children have not been immunized against diseases, and therefore are more likely to become infected with those diseases. Unvaccinated children are considered a risk because they may have a large number of diseases, and are therefore more likely to infect other people. For instance, the Western Hemisphere’s measles, polio, and smallpox outbreaks were all eradicated thanks to vaccinations, which have also had a significant positive impact on human health in general. However, in order for vaccinations to be successful, they must be given to a very high number of people.
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