Childhood Vaccinations: Why They Should Be Mandatory

It is no secret that America has become a great melting pot of people. With such diversity comes the question, how do we keep our children healthy and safe from illness? Many question the safety and benefits, or lack thereof, of childhood vaccinations. Are they truly safe? Are they necessary? The answer is YES! The benefits far outweigh the risks of vaccinating our youth. Childhood vaccinations should be mandatory to those able to receive them to keep our future generations healthy. Vaccines are among the greatest, and most effective ways to prevent infectious diseases. And while it’s natural to want to understand the potential risks of vaccinations, it is also crucial in understanding the benefits. A parent will never realize know how many times their child will in contact with a vaccine-preventable disease or how many times their child will make use of their vaccine-induced immunity. Vaccinations are considered one of the greatest public health successes of the last century (“Immunization”). The primary benefit of vaccinations is that it prevents disease. Incidence rates in the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases are at an all-time low. This low can be attributed directly to the invention of vaccines. While the diseases we vaccinate against have dropped, they have not been totally eradicated. This is why it must be mandatory that any able-bodied child should be vaccinated (“Immunization”). Vaccines can spare a child’s life. In light of advances in medicinal science, children are now be able to be safeguarded against more diseases than any time in recent memory. A few infections that once harmed or murdered a large number of children, have been eradicated totally and others are near eradication, basically because of safe vaccines. Polio is one case of the incredible effect that vaccinations have had in the United States. While it was once one of the most dreaded illnesses, wreaking havoc across the country, there are no more instances of polio being reported in the US, all thanks to vaccines (“Mandatory”, 2015). Vaccines saves lives and protects our future generations from disease. They protect the people we care about. Vaccines not only promote our bodies power to prevent and heal, they also protect those whose bodies are not able to prevent and heal themselves. When a child is vaccinated, they prevent disease from being spread to others. Individuals, children and adults, with weakened immune systems depend on the healthy population to get vaccinated to help keep the spread of disease low (“Immunization”). Not only do vaccines save lives, they are also cost effective and can save families time and money. When a child becomes ill due to a preventable disease, it creates a costly impact on the family as a whole. It can mean absenteeism from school, costly doctor visits, being admitted into the hospital, and parents often having to miss work to take care of the sick child. Prevention should always be the first option in protecting children, because it is much cheaper than searching for a cure after the child has become ill. Most vaccines are covered by insurances and even low-income families now have affordable access to these life-saving vaccines (“Mandatory”, 2015).