Vaccination, indeed, has its own set of merits calculated to instill better health among the populace. It is for this reason that governmental regulations added vaccination as an integral part to ensure such a goal, which constitutes as the State’s constituent function. Worth noting is the fact that at status quo, the government has been rather aggressive in their approach towards vaccinating as many citizens as possible, to the extent of including within the scope of governmental regulations mandatory vaccination as an indispensable school admission requirement. This gives rise to the debate of whether or not vaccination should be required for entry in schools in the United States. This paper’s position shall be in the negative.
Of foremost consideration shall be the parents’ freedom on what shall be administered to their children and when shall it be made, if at all. A first consideration that might stop these parents from having their children vaccinated is the possibility of being vaccine overloaded. While it is true that over dosage of a specific vaccine can be administered to some people with uncompromised immune systems for added efficacy of the medicine, e.g. rabies cure, (Rupprecht, et. al., 2010), a recent study revealed that vaccine overloading increases the risk of contracting inflammation-related disorders to children. This study, which was conducted by Classen (2014) found that over vaccination could be a driving factor that accelerates epidemics in childhood like diabetes, asthma, food allergies, inter alia. These conditions are very common to children and the fact that over vaccination increases the risk for contracting the same might lead a reasonable mind that vaccination might not be a risk worth taking. Thus, to compel parents who are not willing to expose their children to these kinds of risks would be unjustifiable and plain unfair. What if their children are healthy to begin with? (as evaluated by physicians and due to a balanced diet) Would it be practical for them to be injected with different cocktails of chemicals just to be admitted to school? It is something that a logical mind can quickly answer.
Assuming that children are removed from the equation, adolescents are also subjected to a similar kind of risk because as found by May, et al. (2012), adolescents could be subjected to cardiovascular-related diseases. It is for these reasons that it is personally submitted that vaccinations should not be made as requirements for entry in schools. Parents can elect to have their children vaccinated, but to make it a requirement would be plain unfair.
Also a consideration worth noting are the possible religious reasons which might be stifled if this vaccination requirement were to be implemented. The separation between the Church and State must be inviolable at all costs and if the latter were to compel some people, who believes that vaccination is against their religious belief; such a legal tenet is compromised. Some religious people’s belief over vaccination consists of the fact that if they were to die over a specific illness, it is the will of their higher being and being vaccinated would be in violation of that will, among others. For some, it can be illogical, but a fundamental freedom (religion) is paramount over considerations which are somewhat pragmatic in nature, such as a school requirement. No person is harmed if this vaccination requirement is dispensed with, so respecting others’ paramount freedoms is a must.
Contentions in favor of vaccination as a requisite for entry in schools dwells upon the pragmatics relating to health, e.g. for healthy schoolmates, prevention of diseases, inter alia. But note that this is immediately refutable by the time-honored practice that parents are always there for their children to the extent of not condemning to sickness. This premise can be corroborated with the empirical evidences that point to risk of children contracting certain kind of complications because of vaccination.
It is something that is within the discretion of parents to decide upon because at the end of the day, their children’s destiny lies upon their hand and the State would only come in, as parens patriae, if parents would be neglectful in their duties. Now, is the simple refusal of having a child vaccinated immediately calls for State intervention as the youth’s protector? Of course not.
It is therefore concluded in this debate paper that vaccination should not be required for entry to schools in the United States. The reasons for this, as a summary, would consist of the freedom of parents to choose if their children are to be administered with vaccinations and their right to refuse the same for valid and justifiable grounds.
Classen, J. (2014). Review of Vaccine Induced Immune Overload and the Resulting Epidemics of Type 1 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome, Emphasis on Explaining the Recent Accelerations in the Risk of Prediabetes and other Immune Mediated Diseases. J Mol Genet Med S1: 025.
May, A., Kuklina, E. & Poon, P. (2012) Prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among US adolescents, 1999-2008. Pedriatics, 129, 1035-1041.
Rupprecht, C., Briggs, D., Brown, C. et al. (2010). “Use of a reduced (4-dose) vaccine schedule for postexposure prophylaxis to prevent human rabies: recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices”. MMWR Recomm Rep 59 (RR–2): 1–9.