Nowadays there is a lot of debate when it comes to addressing people’s attitude towards vaccination. While many professional organizations and agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize the importance of scheduled vaccinations, advocates of the anti-immunization movement endorse the view that vaccinations are unsafe and potentially harmful. As Johnstone (2017) states,” mistrust in science has compromised the possibility of engaging in sound policy analysis owing partially to justified concerns by anti-vaccination proponents regarding outright manipulation and undue interference for commercial interests”. Claims by such supporters have motivated a number of parents to refuse their children the right to obtain immunizations. In spite of this, overwhelming evidence continues to support the efficacy of immunizations on various public health outcomes. For example, Dube, Vivion, and MacDonald (2015) affirm that over the years, immunization programs have contributed greatly to declines in morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases including the eradication of poliomyelitis in the Americas. The CDC in conjunction with other federal, state, and local agencies has implemented a policy named Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program that seeks to improve vaccination rates and counter the advocates of the anti-vaccination movement (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014).
Vaccinations is one of the most critical preventive health measures responsible for saving millions of lives. According to the report by the CDC (2014), routine childhood vaccinations provided between 1994 and 2013 will prevent approximately 322 million illnesses, save an estimated 732,000 million lives, and prevent 21 million hospitalizations in the course of the vaccinated children’s lifetime. Moreover, the report by the CDC (2014) affirmed that routine vaccinations have the potential of saving US healthcare costs by $295 million in direct expenditures and $1.38 trillion in societal costs associated with illnesses preventable via vaccinations. Hence, in conjunction with other federal, state, and local agencies, the CDC has spearheaded the implementation of a policy dubbed the “Vaccines for Children (VFC)” Program that seeks to increase vaccination coverage to children under the age of 18 who are eligible to the program (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). This policy additionally seeks to dispel rumors, myths, and unfounded allegations that proponents of the anti-vaccination movement have voiced regarding the safety and efficacy of immunizations.
Working in a pediatric setting I would have to conclude that vaccinations not only is a decision that parents should do. Mostly because I see a lot of illnesses in children that could’ve been prevented. It’s our jobs as nurses to provide education to parents regarding the benefit of routine vaccinations .
Johnstone, M.-J. (2017). Ethics, evidence and the anti-vaccination debate. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Journal , 24 (8), 27
Dube, E., Vivion, M., & MacDonald, N. E. (2015). Vaccine hesitancy, vaccine refusal and the anti-vaccine movement: Influence, impact and implications. Expert Review of Vaccines , 14 (1), 99–117.
CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention. (2014). Benefits from immunization during the vaccines for children program era-United States, 1994-2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. , 63 (16), 352-355.
Vaccination Policy for School Children
Vaccination activities are meant to prevent the occurrence of a certain infection that might trigger various ailments. Vaccines are given to a healthy population to stimulate their immune system. It is enhanced by injection of microbes into the body system. These microbes are categorized into four types including the live attenuated, inactivated, toxoid vaccines among others. Each of these vaccines works differently depending on how the immune system responds to the infection, the individuals that require to be vaccinated and the approach that was used to create the vaccines (Cui et al., 2017). However, some of the vaccines might result in unhealthy conditions on an occasion where they are not applied effectively. In this case, there should be an analysis of the vaccine and their potential unhealthy impacts portrayed before it applied. Thus, this article reveals various consideration that should be made in the event of implementing vaccination Cui, policy for school children.
Vaccination policies for school children attract mixed reactions from various stake- holders. Parents may seem to be against it because of the potential negative impacts they may bring to their children. According to Cui et al. (2017), parents play a vital role in implementing various policies that involve their children at school. They are considered as the sole decision-maker of most of these policies because they affect them directly. The constitutional provisions about the protection of individual rights empower them to decide their rights as well as their children (Seither et al., 2019). Where these provisions are violated, the involved parties are liable to take legal actions from to safeguard their children’s rights. Therefore, in an event where a school is implementing such policy a consultative meeting must be held. This will allow the parents to express their opinions about the policy of interest.
Implementation of vaccination policy for school children is an important way of preventing many of the communicable diseases. Schools are social gathering that contains people from different backgrounds. Therefore, a trigger of any communicable infection spreads very fast. This is because the school children interact closely to another hence increasing the likelihood of disease spread (Seither et al., 2019). In this case, if the infection was severe, it will cost the lives of many children and parents as well. For this reason, thereof, it is important to consider preventing the occurrence of such infections through vaccinations.
Considerably, vaccination of the school children is likely to be beneficial not only to the children but also to the entire society. The immunity of the children is lower than one of the adults. This subjects them vulnerable to many of the communicable diseases and thus compromising their health and wellbeing. Factoring on this, children will facilitate the communicability of these infections to the healthy populations including their parents and other society members (Cui et al., 2017). As a result, the entire society is affected by something that could have been prevented through vaccination.
As much as vaccination activities are good ways of preventing infections, their adverse effects are also many. People differ on how they respond to various vaccines and as a result several unhealthy conditions emanate including autoimmune diseases (Seither et al., 2019). Health practitioners enhancing this vaccination ought to consider analyzing the health conditions of the children before they administer. In addition, a highly trained and qualified professional must be engaged to ensure that the safety of the children is maintained.
Cui, F., Lipin Shen, L. L., Wang, H., Wang, F., Bi, S., Liu, J., … & Miao, N. (2017). Prevention of chronic hepatitis B after three decades of escalating vaccination policy, China. Emerging infectious diseases, 23(5), 765.
Seither, R., Loretan, C., Driver, K., Mellerson, J. L., Knighton, C. L., & Black, C. L. (2019). Vaccination Coverage with Selected Vaccines and Exemption Rates Among Children in Kindergarten—the United States, 2018–19 School Year. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 68(41), 905.