Vaccination has aided in eradicating diseases such as smallpox and polio in most countries, especially in the United States of America. Furthermore, immunization has saved many lives, regardless of age, by improving people’s immune systems, which combat disease-causing organisms are invading their bodies. Consequently, after the invention of vaccine medicine, the incidence and prevalence of vaccine-preventable diseases have decreased. According to the utilitarian principle, it would be more positive if everybody was vaccinated to avoid possible disease risks (Shafer-Landau, 2014). Therefore, immunizing people have become a utility, that is, an action that has led to positive impacts of improving peoples’ health leading to happiness in most parts of the world. This is an activity that should be championed across the globe to help in eradicating conditions such as measles and rubella that threatens the lives and health of newborns and other people as well. To achieve such outcome immunization should be made mandatory for everyone apart from those who have a medical rationale.
Reasons to get vaccinated
Saving children lives
Advancement in the field of medicine especially public health has made it possible for physicians to come up with vaccines that can and have saved millions of children’s lives. Diseases that can end life or injure children have been eliminated entirely, and others controlled to the extent that minimal deaths have been registered from those health problems. Recent reports from the center for disease control indicates that smallpox and polio have an incidence of zero since the year 2012. Also, they suggested that the mortality rate if measles has reduced by 74% which means that millions of children who could have died are now alive and well or at least free of measles, thanks to vaccination (Gholipour, 2014). The above statistic is for US only, the results have been similar to other countries as well. Therefore, it is morally right for any parent to take the child for vaccination because in normal circumstances every parent felt happy and contented to know that their children are healthy and not at risk of getting sick. A small number of people have a different view concerning vaccination emanating from the religious belief that hinders them from embracing immunization. Such individuals, when they are exempted from vaccination, they feel happy, but their level of happiness cannot be compared to that of the largest group of people who feel safer with immunization. Therefore, using the utilitarian theory, one can conclude that vaccination means good for the greater population and hence it should be exercised to safeguard health and life.
Protecting other people’s lives
A good number of health conditions can be transferred from one human to the other, some of them include those that can be prevented via vaccination. When people become vaccinated, and their body becomes immune from certain diseases, they cannot spread infections of those disease to other individuals because they don’t have them. It feels safer for everyone to know that they are living in an environment that doesn’t pose a threat to their health. Pregnant mothers when vaccinated against disease such as rubella cannot pass the infection to their newborns, and hence the disease incidence goes down. Also, the child gets a chance of not suffering from complications associated with the disease which include congenital cataracts, hearing and vision loss, mental illness, spleen and liver disease as well as heart problems. People feel safe due to immunization making them happy, an act that is morally good according to utilitarianism. Additionally, there are those people who cannot be vaccinated using certain vaccine because their bodies react to them or they are allergic to those vaccines (Larson et al., 2014). When other people get vaccinated and cannot spread infections, the unvaccinated individuals are safer since no one can spread the infection to them. This way, through getting vaccinated one is saving another person’s life or disease burden.
Saving family time and money
A lot of resources in terms of money and time get wasted in hospitals where people seek health services. In fact, the largest portion of American budget goes to the health sector to cater for Medicare and Medicaid expenses that were approximately 28% of the federal government total budget. This shows how health is expensive. With vaccination, there are higher chances that money will be saved because people will not get sick with diseases that they were immunized against and hence the need to seek health will not be there (Larson et al., 2014). As a result, life will not be stressful since finances will not be overspent and thus there will be happiness and comfort since people will afford to spend on luxurious items.
Protecting future generation
Vaccination eliminated and in some cases reduced illnesses that either disabled people or killed people some decades ago. This means a safer world for those who are to come in future since they will not find some of the diseases that are currently being fought against. A good example is the elimination of smallpox through the use of smallpox vaccine; children born four years ago in the US cannot contract such a disease because it does not exist anymore. If this can be achieved to all other disease, people will live happily ever after since there will be no feelings of worry or fear for some diseases. Time, resources and energy will be saved and allocated to other sectors that will be needing improvements. In general, the quality of life will increase since life expectancy will be high, cases of disability will be minimal, and most children will develop normally and become independent individuals. This is precisely what every nation aspires, and hence it is a good thing compared to a world where people are dying out of a disease that can be eliminated or prevented.
Need for safety and protection
Vaccination to some extent means the difference between life and death or disability. Therefore, people develop a need for safety and protection against diseases because most of the vaccinated illnesses has not gone away. This is why one finds that before they travel to certain countries vaccination against some diseases much be done to prevent cases where they would spread or acquire those diseases. Also, another example that demonstrates people’s need for safety and protection are the medical aids that are given to nations where health conditions such as swine flu or Ebola have erupted. The help is accorded for the sake of saving humanity and also preventing chances of such diseases becoming pandemic (Larson et al., 2014).
The United States of America and Australia have a different perspective concerning vaccination. In the US, children cannot be allowed to join school if they are not vaccinated, in Australia, this is not an issue, the only thing they do is to suspend home the child with infection until he or she has recovered. The only reasons in the USA that a parent can give for not taking a child for vaccination are a religious belief, medical reason and philosophical exceptions apart from Mississippi and Virginia which only allow medical exemptions. The Centers for Disease Control roughly calculated that 732,000 children in America were saved from death and 322 million cases of life threatening childhood diseases were prevented between 1994 and 2014 due to vaccination (Gholipour, 2014). The rate of disease incidence and prevalence of preventable conditions via vaccination are higher in Australia compared to the USA because the number of individuals who are potential of spreading infections is high in Australia than in the US. Therefore, cases of children or individuals with complications and disabilities that originated from the preventable disease are more in Australia and hence if a happiness index can be determined one can find that people in the US are happy and feel safer than those in Australia. This is because Americans have less fear of contracting infections and very small proportion have disabilities. Concerning utilitarianism, if vaccination is the action being practiced (utility), people in the US are more happy and comfortable concerning health than those in Australia despite the freedom of choice to immunization granted to them.
Vaccination should be made mandatory to all countries in the world. The world is a global village, and hence infection can spread from one continent to another in a matter of hours and hence extra precaution need to be taken against immigrants. Negative impacts of immunizations are rare or unheard of because they do not exist and therefore people with different views concerning it should be made to understand the importance of vaccination. The resistant group should be vaccinated by force to ensure that everybody is safe from preventable disease. The only category of people that should be spared is that with medical reasons for exceptions.
Gholipour, B. (2014). Vaccination Has Saved 732,000 Children’s Lives Since 1994. Live Science.
Larson, H. J., Jarrett, C., Eckersberger, E., Smith, D. M., & Paterson, P. (2014). Understanding vaccine hesitancy around vaccines and vaccination from a global perspective: a systematic review of published literature, 20072012. Vaccine, 32(19), 2150-2159.
Shafer-Landau, R. (2014). The fundamentals of ethics.