Vaccine is developed to boost the immunity system of people, especially children, and fight certain diseases. The process of vaccination consists of administering weak microorganisms that cause a disease, in the human body. Subsequently, the human body develops antibodies to defend these microorganisms. This defense system will effectively work in the long run and the body is protected from that specific disease. In recent hours, this technique has been under hot debate. Questions are raised whether it is necessary, safe or at all beneficial to have vaccines against the many diseases. In this article, we will dissect the pros and cons of vaccines to understand the vaccination in a detailed version.
Pros of vaccine
The most important benefit of vaccination is that it prevents the children from diseases. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, vaccinations are 90-99% effective to protect children from diseases. Mankind has faced deadly outbreaks of many diseases in its history. However, children nowadays are protected from fatal diseases such as polio, measles, whooping cough, and others, merely through vaccination. According to shot@life, worldwide measles vaccination has resulted in a 79% drop in measles deaths. This indicates the power of vaccines to protect people from the unfortunate fate of diseases.
Unlike the fear among many, vaccines are safe to apply. The contents of vaccines are prepared after detailed research and study. The vaccines undergo several trials and tests before it is released among the public. The type and amount of ingredients are used as per the capacity of children according to their age. Moreover, the legal authority, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, reviews and monitors the process of vaccine development. Only those who pass the test get the license to manufacture and distribute the vaccines. Hence, strict rules and protocols ensure the safety of vaccines.
Minimum Side effect
Every drug is associated with certain side effects. Vaccines are no exception. However, the side effects are very rare and minimum in comparison to other drugs. For instance, the most common side effect of vaccines, an allergic reaction, occurs in one per several hundred thousand to one per million vaccinations. Several trails have proved this fact. According to Kathleen Doheny, combination vaccines, like MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), have been used without adverse effects since the mid-1940s. Hence, side effects are least to be worried about while taking vaccines.
Vaccines are very useful to prevent communicable diseases. A proper vaccination can boost the herd immunity and keep the community healthy. Herd immunity is the defence mechanism that prevents outbreak of the diseases among a large population. When sufficient numbers of people take vaccines, the community is likely to be safe even if someone catches the disease. This is because herd immunity will prevent the spread of diseases and establish a healthy community. Moreover, people who cannot take vaccines due to personal health conditions are protected through herd immunity.
Vaccines against the diseases cost less than treating it. In case of sickness, people lose both time and money, with potential threat of long-term disability. Taking vaccines in time will save time and money to add economic benefits to the society. According to UNICEF, $6.2 billion could be saved in treatment costs by providing vaccines in the world’s poorest countries. This is why governments and international organizations promote the vaccination programs.
Cons of vaccine
Potential Side effects
One of the disadvantages of vaccines is that they are not free of side effects. Vaccines are composed of microorganisms and complex chemical compounds, which possess some sort of risks. However, these side effects are rare and not serious in many cases. The common side effects of vaccines appear as soreness at the injection area. According to the CDC, vaccines might cause a life-threatening allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) in about one per million children. Health personnels are trained to deal with such cases of side effects during vaccination.
The risk of vaccines is attributed to its chemical composition. Vaccines contain some harmful and toxic chemicals such as mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde and others. The excess aluminum in human bodies can cause neurological harm leading to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and seizures. Similarly, formaldehydes are known carcinogen that causes cancer and other fatal diseases. However, these chemicals are used up to a safe level and you don’t need to worry about it unless you have some personal health conditions.
Vaccines have been a good commodity in the market for business people. This has increased the risk of selling vaccines for profit rather than to protect people from illness. Pharmaceutical companies are more likely to promote the vaccines that are profitable to them. Meanwhile, the competition might lead to development of vaccines of lower quality. For instance, a vaccine for Lyme disease, LYMErix was pulled from the market after a potential causal relationship to autoimmune arthritis was detected with the vaccine. Thus, commercialization can deteriorate the positive aspect of vaccines in the future.
Vaccines administer the weak microorganisms in the human body to induce immunity against that microorganism. This process, however, is against the natural law. The artificial immunity might compromise the body’s immunity to defend itself for a long time. Meanwhile, natural immunity can last longer, even up to life-long. Mayo Clinic has stated that the body develops complete immunity against the natural infection than to a series of vaccinations.
Violates personal rights
It is the right of a person or parents in case of children to decide whether or not to take vaccines. However, rules such as mandatory vaccines contradict the right to choose. It is not moral to force people to take vaccines. In some cases, several religions oppose vaccines as the process of vaccination is not natural. But the fear of illness in absence of vaccines leads people to go against self-decision and violates their personal rights.
Vaccines are the best way to protect children against the fatal diseases. In general, vaccines are safe, effective and easy to apply. With some precautions, vaccines can be really beneficial for a long run. You should always consult with a health professional before making final calls. Also, make sure the doctor is informed about allergies and special health conditions while taking vaccines.