Why Women Fear Vaccination Children
Vaccination is the best way of protecting people from chronic diseases. Evidently, it is through vaccination that the world has been able to fight, and eliminate certain global disease outbreaks such as small pox. Nonetheless, despite these proven methods there has been an increased trend of women preferring that their children not be vaccine. Worse still, this trend appears to cut across individuals from all socials status (Haller, & Scalzo, 2012). While physicians should not browbeat parents to immunize their children, they have a moral obligation of ensuring that the society is safe from current or probable health problems. As a result, there appears to be a great disconnect between parents and the existing reality. Consequently, parents should use accurate rebuttals to convince parents to immunize their children. In light of this, this paper will analyze on the reasons that women have fear of immunizing their children.
Public Perception of Vaccine Safety
Notably, public perception and opinion have an effect on the parents towards the importance of importance. Generally, most public opinions are farfetched, and do not represents medical facts as relates to immunization. Importantly, immunization myths may be from patient or the health provider. Notably, some of the most prominent immunization misconceptions from patients and women are as follows:
- Some immunization lead to diseases such as autism
- Ingredients in vaccines are harmful
- Some vaccines are not effective
Similarly, some of the health providers’ misconceptions are as follows:
- Vaccines cannot be given to sick individuals.
- The health provider needs to check for vital signs before vaccination.
- Vaccines cannot be given to breastfeeding women
- Vaccines cannot be given together
In coping up with the scope of this paper, this research will concentrate on the patients’ opinions, and specifically women on the importance of vaccination to children.
Lack of Effective Education
Notably, there is a lot of ignorance among parents on the need to vaccinate their children. Importantly, there are the beliefs that are not scientifically proven on the effects of vaccination on their children. Importantly, despite the increase in education on the importance of vaccines, there appears to be a growing number of parents who do not want to vaccinate their children. Notably, the current education system on vaccines appears not to address the major issues that the parents would like to know.
Basically, there are a few factors that the modern education system does not address and these affect the manner in which parents adopt vaccination for their children. In essence the reasons are fear, coercion and bandwagoning. Generally, fear may be the fear of the consequences of vaccination. In essence, this may be the fear of the consequences of vaccination or those of lack of it (Caroline, & Gregory, 2011). On the other hand, bandwagoning is the psychological idea applied to vaccines, of accepting or not accepting them because others acceptance, either as a group or individuals towards them. In practice, bandwagoning is similar to self-efficacy and social norming theory, which explain that individuals are more likely to behave in a similar manner as their friends.
Importantly, by the effective use of various educational models such as ecological models, which consider public policies, community and interpersonal relationships, and other environmental factors, physicians may effectively change the thinking of individuals in a society. Consequently, this method is effective in eliminating the bandwagon mindset and leading more acceptance of immunization in the community. In addition, the educationist should correctly define various users since every societal segment has various educational needs (Caroline, & Gregory, 2011).
Notably, for many fear-based bandwagonist, it is importanct to understand their behavior. In essence, understanding these behaviors may enable an physician understand how to approach their case and lead to effective treatment. Vividly, among the stages experienced by these individuals are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and relapse (Caroline, & Gregory, 2011). Basically, a effective educational model based on the individuals stage would lead to the change in their mindset and to the eventual acceptance of vaccination.
Social and Religious Beliefs
In essence, social and religious beliefs have for a long time been an impediment in ensuring full vaccination of all individuals. Notably, in US, there are about 1% of individuals who do not believe in the importance of vaccination. Nonetheless, this is against a backdrop of scientific research which shows that non vaccinated individuals have the greatest chances of getting infections. For example, non-immunized individuals have thirty five time more chances of getting measles infections than those immunized (Salmon, 2003). Notably, the presence of exception clause in school going children may lead to the assumption among parents that vaccination is not essential for their children health. Additionally, the lack of infection among some unimmunized individuals may lead to the assumption that vaccination is not relevant for children’s health. Importantly, while immunization of the majority in the society may protect the fear unimmunized, under immunization may lead to side spread infections.
As a matter of fact, the US government laws empower it to issue state laws that compel for mandatory immunization. Nonetheless, the country has never issued such regulations. Importantly, there are two central laws that come into question when this topic arises. Firstly, there is the first amendment that gives right on free exercise of religion. Secondly, there is the question whether religion is a valid reason for exception from immunization. On the other hand various court rulings are used by pre-schools so as to determine whether all children must be vaccinated. Interestingly, these laws appear to contradict each other.
Basically, a court ruling issued by the Arkansas Supreme Court noted that all school going children should be vaccinated, and this law does not interfere with individuals rights. Further, based on the risk of non-immunized individuals getting infections that would lead to the overall infection of the whole community, the court added that religious freedoms cease to exist when they appear to interfere with the overall health of others (Salmon, 2003). Nonetheless despite the previous ruling on the importance and requirement for vaccination the U.S. Western District Court of Arkansas recently determined that the previous ruling was unconstitutional. Particularly, the court noted that the law interfered with the right of individuals to exercise their freedom of choice.
On the contrary, the Mississippi Supreme Court held that religious exemptions violate equal protection of the laws. In brief, the court noted that inasmuch as the schools required children be vaccinated, it exposed them to unnecessary risks by letting them associate with those who were not immunized (Salmon, 2003). In light of this, these issues raise important matters that should be addressed by the federal government to strike a balance on individuals’ freedom of choice and the need for social security on public health. As it is, the current laws are prone to various interpretations which lead to inability of ensuring 100% vaccination to the immunizable population.
Enforcement of Policies
Basically, inasmuch as these laws may appear to be a violation of individuals’ right of choice, by and large, these laws have been effective in ensuring end to epidemics and improvement in the overall public health sector. Notably, the US has three main regulations that enforce the immunization of all individuals, the police power, school vaccination laws, and parens patriae. In this context, the paper will expound on these laws and link them to the way other countries may adopt them.
Generally, this law empowers states to compel all its citizens for vaccination. In essence, this law is guided by the belief that governments have a duty of ensuring that the overall welfare of its citizens is safeguarded. Consequently, this law permits for the use of reasonable force to ensure full vaccination (Malone, & Hinman, 2010). Importantly, the court noted of the tension present when establishing the guiding line between personal freedom and publicly health. Categorically, the court said that its duty when protecting the US constitution does not give an absolute right to all individuals to have unrestrained rights. Of importance, however, these restrains should lead to the common good of everyone.
School Vaccination Laws
Notably, the US courts have a few times stated the importance of school vaccination. For example, in 1922, the courts stated that the children’s duty of providing a certificate of vaccination in schools aimed at protecting the public health. In yet another ruling, the Arizona Court of Appeal rejected the argument that individuals’ right of education would be violated by the requirement that all unvaccinated children should not attend school (Malone, & Hinman, 2010). Prudently, the court noted that given the length of time needed to detect for the presence of measles, it is important that these individuals should be separated from the rest. Basically, although this ruling is instructive, it shows on the need for policing powers to ensure public health.
Importantly, this law states that all rights, even parenthood have limitations. Notably, this law says that the government authority on the welfare of ensuring a child’s wellbeing is not limited by the parent on religious, or conscience grounds (Malone, & Hinman, 2010). In light of this, the state can compel a child to be vaccinated if this action will improve the child’s welfare.
Importantly, the forceful establishments of laws requiring individuals to have immunization have been effective in controlling the spread of diseases in public areas. In light of this, governments from other regions should establish similar laws. Importantly, they must find ways of compelling individuals to comply with these regulations.
Immunization and Disease such as Autism
Notably, most parents think that immunization can lead to development of diseases such as asthma, autism, diabetes mellitus, or multiple sclerosis (Kimmel, et al., 2007). Basically, the main causes for such thoughts are usually encounters with poor quality published research articles. Importantly, the link between autism and vaccination is wrong and misleading. In particular, vaccination is usually attributed to infections such as autism and asthma because this is when the symptoms of these diseases first appear. Consequently, when children get these diseases, it is common for parents to associate the disease with vaccination.
Inasmuch as these diseases usually strike during the vaccination period, studies have shown there is no link between these disease with vaccination. For example, Patja et al. conducted an experiment on 1.8 million individuals to identify if there is a relationship between autism and vaccination. Notably, however, the research showed that there was no any relationship (Kimmel, et al., 2007). In addition, there have been concerns that the use of thimerosal, an ethyl mercury-containing vaccine preservative may lead to a lot of exposure to mercury, and as a result to diseases such as autism. Nonetheless, studies from the institute of medicine show there is no relationship. Furthermore, thermisol is no longer used in most vaccines such as Hepatitis B, Hib, and all brands of DTaP vaccines. Similarly, the Institute of Medicine, found out that there is no link between immunization and autism. In addition to this, they also found that children and toddlers are usually strong enough to enable handle the immunization given to them (Immunization Action Coalition, 2008).
Importance of Immunization
Importantly, immunization has far reaching benefits on children and adult health. Generally, immunization has far reaching effects in that it benefits the immunized individual, their family, and society at large (CDC, 2016). Basically, the immunization benefits are follows:
- Immunization saves the life of the immunized individual
- Immunization is safe and effective
- Immunization protects family members and friends
- Immunization can save the individuals, money and time
- Immunization protects future generations
Immunization Saves the Life of the Immunized Individual
Immunization has enabled the eradication of various life threatening diseases such as small pox and polio in the US. Notably, polio used to be one of the most feared diseases in US. Nevertheless, due to immunization there have not been any reported cases of this disease.
Immunization is Safe and Effective
In brief, all vaccines are usually issued after rigorous tests and trials. Consequently, their effectiveness is usually beyond doubt. For example, despite numerous allegations of the relationship between autism and vaccination, no scientific connection has been found.
Immunization Protects Family Members and Friends
Basically, immunization of all immunizable individuals is a method of protecting those who cannot access immunization. Essentially, there are individuals who cannot be immunized due to their compromised health. Importantly, immunizing the entire society minimizes the prevalence of diseases, consequently reducing their chances of getting infections.
Immunization Saves Individuals Money and Time
Generally, the cost of health care is expensive. Through immunization, individuals reduce their chances of getting ailments. Consequently, immunization saves individuals from the expensive but avoidable health bills. In addition, individuals save on time that is used when getting treatment.
Immunization Protects Future Generations
Essentially, vaccinations protect future generations by eliminating certain life threatening diseases. Evidently, immunization helped eliminate small pox. Consequently, people nowadays do not have to get smallpox vaccines.
In summary, immunization is effective in ensuring that individuals are well protected from infectious diseases. Notably, all myths related to the ineffectiveness of vaccines are false and inappropriate (IMAC, 2010). Consequently, physicians should properly educate women on the importance of vaccination to encourage them vaccinate their children. Importantly, this would improve children’s overall health and welfare.
Caroline, P., & Gregory, P. (2011). Vaccine education spectrum disorder: the importance of incorporating psychological and cognitive models into vaccine education. Vaccine, 29(37), 6145-6148.
CDC (2016). Five important reasons to immunize your child. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/media/subtopic/matte/pdf/CDCFiveReasonstoVaccinateYourChild.pdf
Immunization Advisory Centre (IMAC). (2010). A Critique by the Immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) of the Immunisation Awareness Society brochure : “What’s all the fuss about?” Retrieved from http://www.immune.org.nz/sites/default/files/resources/ConcernCritiqueFussIAS201011V02Final.pdf
Immunization Action Coalition. (2008). Evidence shows vaccines unrelated to Autism. Retrieved from http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4028.pdf
Kimmel, S., Burns, I., Wolfe, R., & Zimmerman, R. (2011). Addressing immunization barriers, benefits, and risks. The Journal of Family Practice. 56(2), 62-64.
Malone, K., & Hinman, A. (2010). Reconsidering laws and policy debates: A public health perspective. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Haller, K., & Scalzo, A. (2012). “I’ve Heard Some Things That Scare Me” Responding With Empathy to Parents’ Fears of Vaccinations. Missouri, Medicine, 109(1), 1-17
Salmon, D. (2011). Mandatory immunization laws and the role of medical, religious and philosophical exemptions. Retrieved from