The Vaccine Controversy

1631 words 7 pages
The Vaccine Controversy

Janira Sanchez

Intro to Biology

Professor Martin

July 22, 2010

The Vaccine Controversy

The vaccine controversy is the dispute over the morality, ethics, effectiveness, and /or safety of vaccinations. The medical and scientific evidence is that the benefits of preventing suffering and death from infectious diseases outweigh rare adverse effects of immunization. Since vaccination began in the late 18th century, opponents have claimed that vaccines do not work, that they are or may be dangerous, that individuals should rely on personal hygiene instead, or that mandatory vaccinations violate individual rights or religious principles. And since then, successful campaigns against vaccinations have
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, continued high levels of vaccine coverage are necessary to prevent resurgence of disease which had been eliminated. Few deny the vast improvements vaccination has made to the public health. They are more concerned with the safety of vaccines. All vaccines may cause side effects, and immunization safety is a huge concern. Controversies in this area revolve around the question of whether the risks of perceived adverse effects following immunization outweigh the benefit of preventing adverse effects of common diseases. There is scientific evidence that in rare cases immunizations can cause adverse effects, such as oral polio vaccine causing paralysis however, current scientific evidence does not support the hypothesis of causation for more common disorders such as autism. Although the hypotheses that vaccines cause autism are biologically implausible, it would be hard to study scientifically whether autism is less common in children who do not follow recommended vaccination schedules, because an experiment based on withholding vaccines from children would be unethical. Another concern of parents regarding the safety of vaccines is the thought that vaccine overload will weaken a child’s immune system and can lead to adverse side effects. Although scientific evidence does not support and even contradicts this idea, many parent especially


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