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Vaccination programs have been among the most successful of all public health measures in terms of efficacy, cost-effectiveness, and widespread use. Yet most states grant exemption from compulsory immunizations due to religious or philosophical objections. Many parents are choosing to opt out of childhood vaccinations (MMR) and other vaccinations, such as for HPV. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of outbreaks of preventable infectious diseases.
Exemptions to compulsory vaccination are one way that public health officials attempt to balance the rights and freedoms of individuals with the best interests of the public. Reflect on your own views toward vaccinations. In what instances are exemptions acceptable? How should public health organizations respond on a local, state, or federal level to the problem of when populations begin to lose herd immunity?
1.) Summarize your position on exemptions to compulsory vaccinations specifically for MMR.
- Should their parents or legal guardians be given the right to choose?
- Does it matter if an individual opts out because of a religious or philosophical objection? What if the religious objection is based on a clear tenet of the organized religion? What if it is not?
2.) What legal and ethical grounds can you cite for your position?
3.) What do you think is the proper role of public health organizations in addressing the issue of opt-outs for vaccination .
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Due to the fact that exceptions to compulsory vaccinations, specifically for MMR, place the health and welfare of other individuals in jeopardy, I am strictly against exemptions to compulsory vaccinations. I do believe that there should be a healthy level of respect for the religious, and or philosophical objections, that many individuals give for not wanting to submit to these immunizations, but it will be more disadvantages to society at large to allow widespread disease that could end up killing some individuals, to spread throughout the nation, due to the fact that certain individuals have ...
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