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Childhood Vaccinations According to Barbara Loe Fisher, since 1990, around fourteen thousand reports of hospitalizations, injuries, and deaths following vaccination are made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting Systems (VAERS), but, it is estimated that the actual number of vaccine-related health problems occurring in the U. S. every year can be more than one million. (“Parents Should Be Allowed to Opt Out of Vaccinating Their Children”, 536. ) Barbara Loe Fisher and Steven P. Shelov both wrote articles about the effects of immunizations on children and the community, taking opposite sides on the argument.Fisher argues against indiscriminate mass vaccinations, and parents should have the right to decide whether or not they want to vaccinate their children. However, Shelov believes that allowing parents to opt out of vaccinating their children would open the door to epidemics of several deadly childhood diseases such as polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and diphtheria. The biggest concern in the past decade is that whether or not vaccines in general are safe. Vaccines have been shown to cause lasting damage to children.For instance, Fisher argues that vaccinations can cause mental retardation, epilepsy, learning disorders, diabetes, autism and asthma in children. Vaccinations have gotten rid of polio, but have doubled cases of attention-deficit disorder. Fisher also states that parents should have the right to decide which vaccination their children receive. She said that the government sees the children as sacrifices to learn the effect out of vaccination. She argues that parents are the one that have to deal with the burden of what happens to the child and not the government.On the other hand, Shelov believes that vaccinations are safe and necessary. He said if you don’t vaccinate a child, it would increase the risk of catching dangerous diseases. Shelov also said there is no evidence linking vaccine to autism, SIDS, or asthma. He said that vaccinations are the safest type of medication ever developed. He states children should be immunized in order to prevent exposure to the hazards of infectious diseases. He argues that without immunization, the children of the United States would be expose to deadly diseases that occur throughout the world.Given the effects of vaccines, it is understandable why so many parents may still vacillate as to whether or not to get their children vaccinated. My own belief is that parents should be able to choose whether or not to get their children immunized. I agree with Shelov that immunizations are necessary to stop diseases, but, I still believe parents should have the right to decide what is best for their children. For example, infants should not be required to get an immunization if they are at risk of catching the disease.Fisher states that children are required to get thirty-three doses of ten different immunizations before they turn five, including diseases most children are not at risk for such as hepatitis B, and drug companies are even developing vaccinations for gonorrhea and herpes, and making exposing children to these diseases a requirement is excessive and unsafe. In addition, Fisher states that some children are forced to re-immunize even after suffering adverse effects from their first immunization of the vaccine, or they will not be allowed to enroll in school.Furthermore, the state can use electronic vaccine-tracking system to tag and track children without their parents’ permission. Fisher asks, in her conclusion, if the state can tag and track people down, what freedoms will the government take next. Although some might object that allowing parents to choose whether or not their children have to receive certain immunizations might put the children in danger, I reply that the government should not have the power to intrude into peoples lives and force them to inject something into their children’s bodies that they do not want there.Another argument is that vaccines are safe, and while it is true that most vaccines are safe, when there is a bad effect from a vaccination they are sometimes very severe, and have lasting effects on people. Also, the government may say that immunizing children is a public health issue and affects the public, but they do not have to personally deal with or grieve over the reactions that affect the children. This issue is important because it can affect anyone anywhere.All of America’s children are required to get immunized, and it is not known what causes adverse reactions to most vaccines. A child can go from perfectly healthy to sick in a blink of an eye after an adverse effect from an immunization. Parents should be able to decide whether or not to put their child at risk of both the adverse reactions to the immunizations and the diseases that they are designed to protect against.

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