There are no federal vaccination laws in existence, nevertheless, in each state a number of vaccinations are a must for a child enlisting in a public school. Varying from state to state, children are supposed to get vaccinated against such diseases as measles, mumps, diphtheria, polio, tetanus, rubella, and some others. In addition, all the states allow for medical exemptions, and almost all of them (48 excepting West Virginia and Mississippi) accept religious reasons for exemption. 20 states went as far as allowing to forgo vaccination for philosophical reasons. For all that, school entry vaccination rate runs up to 95.41% on the average for the year 2009.
Those who argue for vaccination claim it is a major public health breakthrough of the past century. Really, some of the results are obvious: vaccination was instrumental of eliminating diseases like diphtheria, German measles, also known as rubella, and whooping cough, that were responsible for deaths of many thousands of American infants on a yearly basis. Vaccination entails certain risks, true, but the public boon is so considerable that those risks seem quite negligible. (The risks – which occur fairly rarely – comprise side effects such as seizures, paralysis, which can be severe, and in worst cases death.)
The opposite point of view holds that children’s immune system should be able to cope with possible infections on its own and vaccination impairs the development of natural immunity. Moreover, vaccination carries not only the risk of bad side effects, but also protection from diseases that are not life threatening – which renders the protection superfluous. Vaccines can at times bring on allergic reactions, conditions like autism, auto-immune disorders, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and multiple sclerosis.
Up to the year 2009, authoritative bodies like Centers for Disease Control (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Physicians were unanimous in recommending vaccination for children against fifteen of the most common illnesses. Organizations like the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Generation Rescue, and the National Vaccine Information Center maintain that parents mustn’t be prevailed upon to compulsorily vaccinate their children.
- The 2003 research report issued by the Pediatric Academic Society reveals that only in the U.S. childhood vaccinations inhibit the development of approximately 10.5 million cases of infectious illness and more than 30,000 deaths every year.
- The federal government holds the reports of something like 30,000 instances of adverse reactions to vaccines every year from 1990 on, of which 13% are considered to be serious, involving major life threats or permanent disabilities.
- According to the information by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims registered more than 5,000 cases alleging that vaccinations may have been conducive to autism during 8 years from 2001 to 2009.