Medicine and Childhood Vaccinations

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Vaccines are the most efficient and secure public health intervention to stop severe disease and death. Today, children in the United States routinely get vaccines that protect them from various illnesses such as polio, tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Through immunization, many more millions are prevented from contracting various diseases. Primary health services are significant, but childhood vaccination is more fundamental and cost-effective (Judd 25). Due to the existence of immunization, most infections mentioned above are at their lowest levels. When measuring vaccination coverage, it should be noted that childhood vaccination policies and the reporting of vaccinations differ across countries. This indicator is thus based on the actual system in a given country. This paper is a discussion of Medicine and childhood vaccinations.

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In the 20th century, the Infectious diseases were the principal cause of loss of lives. Epidemics of smallpox and diphtheria resulted in the death of millions of people in towns and cities. However, medicine science has developed vaccines over the last 50 years to reduce the spread of killer diseases. Infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis still lack effective vaccine and continue to cause illness, disability, and death (Kitta 38). Innovative vaccines undergo precise testing before authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Vaccines, however, similar to all medicines and medical interventions come with some risks. Technological development continues to ensure the safety of vaccines and easier administration. Presently, a vaccine has been developed that provides defense from five infections through only an injection thus reducing the number of injections therefore improving the simplicity and safety of immunization. When a vaccine is in use, its effectiveness and safety is frequently monitored through medical trials, comprehensive surveillance of diseases and other unfavorable effects. Vaccine safety is a critical component of registration for use in the United States and an integral part of the implementation of the National Immunization Program. Safety is paramount because vaccines are given to millions of people including young children who are most vulnerable (Preston 15).

Immunizations are one of the rare interventions that are less costly and offer massive benefits for the health of populations especially young children. It is the reason why immunization is frequently done through foundation of health care programs. The cost of treatment of an ill patient is often several times higher than the cost of vaccination. This tremendously low cost and great advantage makes childhood immunization a grand bargain in public health (Kitta 22). Disease prevention has a massive impact on economic development by reducing health care cost and saving money in countries where diseases have been abolished or are well controlled. However, no vaccine is completely secure or efficient because peoples immune systems work in different ways, and sporadically people do not react to a vaccine.

The common adverse events linked with vaccines are trivial and transient. These are usually a pain in the injection site or mild fever, and serious adverse effects occur rarely. For example, smallpox vaccination has resurfaced from the past and develops into a subject of crucial significance due to the raising concerns about bioterrorism (Judd 31). Prevention of smallpox infection involves inoculation with vaccinia virus which is very efficient, but recently it has been linked with various known side effects that vary from a severe to a life-threatening condition. In the U.S, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) had solemn deliberations about the risks and benefits of pre-event smallpox vaccination in 2001. The board at the time concluded that the risk of the treatment outweighs the benefits in the existing pre-event situation apart from very few individuals. Therefore, the benefits of vaccines are indisputable.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in the U.S organizes the schedule that health care professionals follow to vaccinate children. The current recommended U.S childhood immunization program protects children from 14 pathogens by inoculating them when they are most susceptible to the disease. Ethical issues about childhood vaccination are significant in the implementation and the public reaction to mandatory vaccination programs. Some moral principles are often at variance with others and require to be given more attention than others when necessary vaccination programs are implemented. Immunization programs can add to the establishment of an environment where standard practices are sufficiently addressed thus facilitating vaccination approval through reviewing and evaluation of the existing vaccination mandate on the health care jurisdiction (Link 27).


A vaccine prevents disease infection. Lately, researchers have produced beneficial vaccines anticipated for current infections or diseases. Numerous vaccines are in different phases of progress including the ones against cancer, HIV, various allergies and multiple sclerosis. In the present times, researchers have improved their knowledge of the immune system and how it works to fight destructive microbes. To conclude, scientists working on vaccines have a highly developed DNA technology with the capability of examining and investigating the genomes of organisms that contribute to infections.

Works Cited

Judd, Sandra J. Childhood Diseases and Disorders Sourcebook: Basic Consumer Health Information about the Physical, Mental, and Developmental Health of Pre-Adolescent Children. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2009. Print.

Kitta, Andrea. Vaccinations and Public Concern in History: Legend, Rumor, and Risk Perception. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.

Link, Kurt. The Vaccine Controversy: The History, Use, and Safety of Vaccinations. Westport, Conn: Praeger Publishers, 2005. Print.

Preston, Samuel H., and Michael R. Haines. Fatal years: Child mortality in late nineteenth-century America. Princeton University Press, 2014.

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