Are Vaccines Safe and Beneficial?
Mandatory vaccinations have been a hot-button topic in the United States for some time. You have no doubt already heard debate on this issue. Obviously, the COVID-19 virus and the urgent scramble to find vaccines to combat its deadly effects and rapid spread throughout the world have served to ramp up and expand the focus on vaccines. The statement that “vaccines do not cure/stop/prevent diseases – vaccinations do” has become commonplace among proponents of vaccinations in general. In this module, the focus will be directed to vaccinations that have been in existence for some time and are used to prevent infectious or deadly diseases. Some are against vaccinations for fear that they can be linked to autism; some are for vaccinations due to their belief that children who are not vaccinated present a risk to spreading disease that is otherwise preventable (through vaccination). As a student, you are pointed toward evidence-based information to support health care decisions and practice. However, many parents are not as familiar with how to find the evidence or how to determine the validity of what they read or hear.
Imagine you are health professional that sits on the school board for your community. A parents’ group has requested a meeting with the school board and school officials to discuss their feelings and arguments for and against mandatory vaccinations for their children. The conversation is becoming more and more heated as both sides make their points for/against mandatory vaccinations for their children. Then one parent stands and angrily points to the group arguing against mandatory vaccination and exclaims:
“If our kids cannot bring peanut butter in their lunch because your children might become ill due to a life-threatening food allergy, why should your unvaccinated kids be allowed to come to school and put our children at risk of life-threatening disease?”
In a post of at least 175 words discuss, How might you respond? Think through this. Is there life-threatening risk? Is there a single, straightforward answer? How would you support your response? They are looking to you to keep the peace, make sense of the arguments and temper the discussion that is going back and forth like a heated bout of tug-of-war with strong reasoning and the evidence to support it.
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