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Hazards of vaccination: Are they worth the risk?

Every year a small number of children die from diseases or conditions that develop as a result of vaccines received to protect them. It seems to be an inherent hazard associated with mass preventative inoculation. Is it worth the risk? Can you debate both sides of the issue? Have you had or would you have your own children vaccinated? Why or why not?

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Solution Preview

Let's break this question down into two parts, and debate either side of the argument for both parts:
1) Is vaccination worth the risk? This question implies that it should be examined from a societal point of view
2) Would you have your own children vaccinated? Having examined it from a societal point of view, we now examine question 1) from a personal point of view.

Is it worth the risk?

Mass preventative inoculation was introduced as a means to ensure as much of the population received the best chance possible to prevent or combat a potentially debilitating disease. From a societal point of view, the more people are given this chance, the healthier the population and thus the more likely the quality of life of the population as a whole will be better than if the population was not vaccinated. Let's consider the cost to society if a population isn't given this better chance of fighting, if not eradicating, the infectious disease. In terms of financial costs, health care costs in managing symptoms and combating the clinical manifestations of the disease associated with infection would undoubtedly be costly for both individuals and the entire health care system. This may include acute and chronic, long-term care. Depending on severity of clinical presentations, a population with enough infected individuals may suffer a lull in productivity and economic success, again adding to financial costs. Besides this, there is the cost to quality of life, as mentioned before. If individuals in a population have to manage disease ...

Solution Summary

The expert determines whether vaccinations are worth it. The expert determines whether they would vaccinate their own children.