Vaccinations: Safety and Controversy
Vaccines are prophylactic pharmaceutical preparations that stimulate the immunity to resist infection with a certain microorganism or disease. These could be viruses or bacteria. Childhood diseases such as diphtheria, measles, tetanus, and pneumonia have successfully been reduced in incidence by programs for childhood immunization across the world (CDC, 2022). However, to vaccinate a child is easy because all you need is the consent of the parent. With adults it is a different matter altogether as they have to take themselves to be vaccinated against any fear that they may have. Reluctance to go and get vaccinated is referred to as vaccine hesitancy and this has become very clear during the pandemic that is the SARS-CoV-2 virus or novel coronavirus (Verger & Dubé, 2020). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of vaccination, the controversy, and how to counsel a patient afraid of getting vaccinated due to safety concerns. Vaccinations Safety and Controversy Essay Paper
The Pros and Cons of Vaccinations
Generally, vaccinations have more advantages than disadvantages. This has been proven over the years as diseases such as poliomyelitis and chickenpox have successfully been eradicated due to the fact of routinely vaccinating children under the age of five years (Hammer & McPhee, 2018). Vaccines provide immunity against various specific diseases and this is one of the major advantages. When given as booster shots, they also add another layer of protection for a person who had been vaccinated but whose immunity against that particular disease is going low.
Disadvantages of vaccinations are all about efficacy and safety. This has clearly come to the fore during this period of the novel coronavirus pandemic (Chen et al., 2020). The fact that some people suffer side effects after getting vaccinated has made a sizeable number of people to fear getting vaccinated and to actively resist the move. They depict vaccine hesitancy, show complacency, and demonstrate a lack of confidence (Verger & Dubé, 2020). Apart from side effects, some vaccines also do not show the level of efficacy that may inspire confidence in the person getting vaccinated. For instance, during the rushed development of the Covid-19 vaccines, there are some of them that only had a certain percentage of efficacy. This is a major disadvantage and a source of vaccine hesitancy.
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There have also been conspiracy theories about vaccinations, and this also came to the fore during the recent campaign to vaccinate as many people as possible against Covid-19 as one of the preventive measures. Here in the United States, minority communities suffered misinformation like the one that alleged that the Covid-19 vaccines are impregnated with family planning elements aimed at downsizing the population of Blacks for instance. These conspiracies have been many and have contributed a lot to the problem of vaccine hesitancy amongst various communities. Vaccinations Safety and Controversy Essay Paper
For a patient who inquires about the safeness of a vaccine, the bioethical principle of fidelity needs to apply. This means that I as a healthcare worker should give them accurate information so that they can make an informed decision. This strategy is also informed by the bioethical principle of autonomy (Haswell, 2019). The patient should be given all the relevant information and left to give informed consent or not. I would thus tell the patient that the vaccine is beneficial as a preventative measure. I will also tell them that in a small percentage of people, some minor side effects may occur but these would go away after a short time.
Vaccinations have both advantages and disadvantages. However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Vaccine hesitancy has been brought about by misinformation, propaganda, and fear of the unknown. It is the duty therefore of health workers to provide correct and truthful information t patients so that they may take up vaccinations to protect them against diseases such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] (February 17, 2022). Child and adolescent immunization schedule. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html
Chen, W.-H., Strych, U., Hotez, P.J., & Bottazzi, M.E. (2020). The SARS-CoV-2 vaccine pipeline: An overview. Current Tropical Medicine Reports, 7(2), 61–64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40475-020-00201-6
Hammer, D.G., & McPhee, S.J. (Eds). (2018). Pathophysiology of disease: An introduction to clinical medicine, 8th ed. McGraw-Hill Education.
Haswell, N. (2019). The four ethical principles and their application in aesthetic practice. Journal of Aesthetic Nursing, 8(4), 177-179. https://doi.org/10.12968/joan.2019.8.4.177
Verger, P., & Dubé, E. (2020). Restoring confidence in vaccines in the COVID-19 era. Expert Review of Vaccines, 19(11), 991–993. https://doi.org/10.1080/14760584.2020.1825945
Vaccinations Safety and Controversy Essay Paper