The Gustavian Weekly

Striving for a healthy community | The Gustavian Weekly

By Cyan Spicer - Opinion Columnist | May 17, 2019 | Opinion

There are countless news stories, personal stories, research, and even jokes, surrounding the topic of vaccination. Vaccines are important precautions to diseases. To prevent getting struck with a deadly, or even mild, disease, many people go and get vaccinated. But not everyone sees the medical benefit of these precautions.
Since vaccines are not governmentally required, there are people who decide against vaccinating their children and/or themselves. Whether it be for religious reasons, or just personal ideals, people neglect this duty and therefore put themselves, or more often their children, at great risk.
Without the protection of a vaccine, the risk for disease- new or old-is much higher. Outbreaks of long forgotten, rarely seen diseases, are far more likely when vaccinations aren’t taken seriously.
Therefore, the question is, should vaccines be mandatory?
“Yes, vaccines should be mandatory, because the general health of the public needs to be considered, disease prevention needs to be prioritized, and the good that comes from public vaccination far outweighs the reasons for refusing vaccination,” Junior Lucio Gonzalez said.
Vaccinations are important for helping disease outbreak, especially for diseases that have not been seen in a long time but are still able to pop up. Recently, measles has been affecting hundreds of people in the United States. In the last decade the number of cases had dropped significantly, but now it is back on the rise.
With the percentage of people who are getting vaccinated for measles- among other things- dropping, it’s no surprise the outbreak of these diseases is going up. Everyone who does not take precautions, such as getting vaccines, is at risk for disease.
On the other hand, there is a difference between government mandated and school or work mandated. “I don’t think they should be mandatory in general, but I do think if you’re going to a public school they should be, or a private school should set rules for it. Like, they should not be required by law but places should be allowed to have rules and regulations against those who are not vaccinated,” Sophomore Henri Santelman said.
Many schools and workplaces do have mandatory vaccinations, ones required for students and employers to have records of before they can start. Those can only go so far, however. There are still a lot of loopholes, beliefs and religious priority can often outweigh the rules of a school district, or employers may waive the requirement if the want for the employee to work with them is high enough.
But should religious beliefs and personal ideals be put higher than that of public health? There are plenty of people who, due to health reasons, cannot physically get vaccinated. Should their health be neglected because the religious beliefs of some say that vaccinations are wrong, when in truth they are causing more good than harm?
“I personally think that vaccinations should be mandatory. It not only protects yourself from the disease, but also protects those who cannot get vaccinations due to allergies, or other health issues,” Junior Taylor Kmiech said
There are a lot of risks, and if someone is physically unable to get vaccinated, they shouldn’t have to worry about those who are able to not going through with those precautions. There are risks, to yourself and to others, when the choice to not keep up with vaccines is made. People can carry a disease that doesn’t really affect them, and accidentally pass it onto someone else. In order to keep others safe, it’s important to build up antibodies against big name diseases.
Even if the disease has no affect on you, physically having those antibodies to fight off the disease right away guarantees that you won’t pass the disease along to those who are unable to get vaccinated.
All in all, getting yourself and your children vaccinated is far more important than any reason for not vaccinating. It’s crucial to focus on the fact that there is research backing up the severity and importance of being vaccinated. And not just one or two papers written by a few, low named scientists. There’s thousands of scientists conducting research on this topic.
The science speaks for itself, as does the outbreaks of disease that have followed the falling trend of vaccinations. Take care of yourself, as well as others, and keep up with your vaccines.

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