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Vaccination Policy in the United States of America

Vaccination policy is implemented by the government for immunization purpose. This policy has been adopted by many nations. It is voluntary in some nations and mandatory in some nations. In some nations government pay all the cost and some nations a part is paid by the government. Vaccination policy was also adopted by the United States. In U. S. immunization is mandatory. It is mandatory for the children before enrolling into school. Some person can obtain exemption in some conditions. Religious exemptions are allowed in West Virginia and Mississippi.

Religious exemptions increased during the period of 2003 to 2007 in most of the states. It is decreased only on three states- “Nebraska, Wyoming, South Carolina”. All states of U. S. want that the children are immunized against some childhood decision such as “measles, mumps, chickenpox, diphtheria and whooping cough”. Parents are allowed “parents to opt out for medical or religious reasons only” in twenty-eight states. Florida, Massachusetts and New York come into these states. Parents are also allowed “to cite personal or philosophical reasons” in other twenty states including “California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Ohio”.

(Leblanc) According this policy vaccination is very necessary for every one. Vaccination is done to reduce the effect of any natural disease. Vaccine is used for this purpose. It produces immunity against a disease. Multiple doses are required for maximum effect. Vaccine schedules are developed for proper vaccination. These schedules developed by the governmental agencies or physicians groups. In some last years it has become complicated. Different kinds of vaccines are used in different areas because all the areas are not affected by same diseases. The United States is a developed nation.

That’s why the cost for vaccination is much higher in U. S. than developing nations. In developing countries you can get the vaccines at very low prices. The smallpox vaccine was first time given to the children in 1900. After some years in 1960, five vaccines were provided to the children. Those vaccines were polio, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, and smallpox. Now number of vaccines has increased. In 2007 vaccination against 16 diseases has been provided by the US Centers for Disease Control. A 2 year old child in U. S. can receive maximum 24 vaccine injections.

“Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (TDP) vaccine, Rotavirus vaccine, Polio (inactivated vaccine), HiB vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine, Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR vaccine), Hepatitis A vaccine, Influenza vaccine and Pneumococcal vaccine” are the some vaccines which are provided by the US Centers for Disease Control to the children of age 0-6 years. “TDP vaccine, Human papillomavirus vaccine, and Meningococcus vaccine” are given to the children of age11-12 years. Among these three Human papillomavirus vaccine is especially for girls.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Some vaccines are provided to adults. “Tetanus-Diphtheria Pertussis Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Hepatitis B Vaccine, Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine, Varicella (chickenpox) Vaccine, Influenza (flu) Vaccine, and Pneumococcal Vaccine” are some of them. some vaccines are provided to healthcare workers also such as “Tetanus-Diphtheria Pertussis Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Hepatitis B Vaccine, Influenza Vaccine, Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine, and Varicella (chickenpox) Vaccine”. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

In the United States the last case of poliomyelitis because of “indigenously acquired wild poliovirus” was seen in 1979. “Oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)” was in use from 1961 in U. S. because of it, many cases of “vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP)” occurred each year. To reduce the number of cases of “vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP)” a change has been made in the National Vaccination Policy in 1997. According to this change “Oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)” was replaced by “inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV)”. (JAMA 2004) In U. S. parents refuse the immunization for children which is a very big problem.

National Vaccination Policy is trying to solve this problem. Immunization of children against diseases has become very necessary in 20th century. Smallpox has been finished just because of immunizations. Immunization has taken polio away from the North America. Some other diseases and infection such as diphtheria, tetanus, measles, and invasive Haemophilus influenzae infections rarely occurred in present days. This became possible by the National Vaccination policy. After these successful results also some parents are refusing for immunization. There are many reasons behind it.

Some parents refuse on the basis of religion, some on the basis of pain during the immunization, and some on the basis of risk to their children because of immunization. National Vaccination Policy has produced many positive results. According to an analysis 3 million deaths are prevented by the immunizations each year. (Diekema 1428) ‘The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)” made Vaccination school entry mandate requirement. In some other nations such as Canada and Mexico which has better immunization coverage than U. S. vaccination is not a “pre-school and school entry requirement”.

Canada follows the “universal health care system”. There are three “national immunization weeks” in Mexico every year. U. S. should include these policies in its National Vaccination Policy. U. S. is using the policy of “Mandating immunization for pre-school and/or school entry” for protecting “the school community and community” from many infections and diseases. But before applying power for immunization, a “less intrusive strategy” should be found. In vaccination polity it is kept in mind that Immunization mandates will not a cause of “an economic burden”. According to this policy government will pay a part of immunization cost.

A “Vaccines for Children (VFC)” program was created by this policy for removing the economic burden. According to this program “Low-income individuals” can get vaccine free. (School and Pre-school Immunization Mandates) According to the National Vaccination policy “Lack of immunizations CANNOT prevent a homeless student from enrolling in the new school. School should request health and academic records from the previous school(s) in a timely manner and assist parents in obtaining any required immunizations. Homeless students do not need to wait until academic and health records arrive to attend the new school.

The law requires the IMMEDIATE ENROLLMENT of homeless students. ” (Julianelle, 2003) Vaccination policy of United State came into existence in after the 1905 case of “Jacobson v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts”. In this policy it was said that “the state could require individuals to be vaccinated for the common good”. This policy was made for proving vaccination to the children before entering the school. (Julianelle, 2003) Immunization against smallpox had stopped from 1972 in U. S. and the World Health Organization (W. H. O. ) declared in 1979 that this disease has finished in United State.

But in present days approximately half of the US population is at risk of smallpox. That’s why “US public health doctors and preventive medicine specialists” met for making a new policy against smallpox. Dr D A Henderson told that there is no perfect information about the smallpox attack, but we will firstly provide vaccination to the “doctors, nurses, hospital and clinic personnel, and the fire, police, and ambulance services”. We will isolate infected people in special units. They told that we will provide this vaccination against smallpox to the people who want it because this can not be given to every person.

The people who have AIDS, history of eczema or atopic dermatitis would be at risk by this vaccination. After this meeting CDC told that we will discuss “risks and benefits of reintroducing smallpox vaccination” over the next 4 weeks. (US reviews smallpox vaccination policy) Vaccination policy plays an important role in the economy of the United States. According to the report of “Harvard School of Public Health” the United States has saved over $180 billion by polio vaccination. United States has invested over $35 billion between 1955 and 2005 polio vaccination and it will continue its investment because 1.

7 billion polio vaccinations have prevented 1. 1 million cases of paralytic polio. It means that it has prevented over 160,000 deaths. In this way United State has saved “hundreds of billions of dollars in treatment costs”. (Harvard School of Public Health) United States has set a goal, of 80% vaccination rate among young children of the age 19-35, in its vaccination policy.

Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Recommended immunization schedules for persons Aged 0–18 Years — United States, 2008”. 2008. 14 December 2008 <http://www. cdc. gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5701a8.htm> Diekema, Douglas S. “Responding to Parental Refusals of Immunization of Children” 2 May 2005. 14 December 2008 <http://pediatrics. aappublications. org/cgi/content/full/115/5/1428> Harvard School of Public Health. “Billions Of Dollars Saved In United States By Polio Vaccination. ” ScienceDaily 20 January 2007. 14 December 2008 <http://www. sciencedaily. com¬ /releases/2007/01/070119144353. htm> JAMA. “Vaccine Policy Changes and Epidemiology of Poliomyelitis in the United States” 13 October 2004. 14 December 2008 < http://jama. ama-assn. org/cgi/content/abstract/292/14/1696>

Julianelle, Patricia. “National Law Center on Homeless & Poverty. ” 9 December 2003. 14 December 2008 <http://www. naehcy. org/dl/immun_state. doc> Leblanc, Steve. “Parents use religion to avoid vaccines” USA TODAY. 2008. 14 December 2008 <http://www. usatoday. com/news/nation/2007-10-17-19819928_x. htm> “School and Pre-school Immunization Mandates. ” August 2008. 14 December 2008 <http://www. naccho. org/topics/HPDP/infectious/immunization/upload/issue-brief. doc> “US reviews smallpox vaccination policy. ” 11 May 2002. 14 December 2008 <http://www. bmj. com/cgi/content/full/324/7347/1176>

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