Not many people like a long needle inserting into you body, let alone if you don’t know the reason of doing so.
When I was a kid, I did not even have a choice whether I would take vaccination or not (I remember it was a school obligation). And I was totally fine with that (except the very moment of the needle).
About a month ago, the outbreak of the measles begun at Disneyland and has since spread to 14 states in the U.S.
And the tricky part is that there is a way to prevent from spreading (vaccination), but there are many parents not a favor of vaccination (up to 20% of parents depending on the state).
When it comes to the measles, this disease could kill about 1 in every 1,000 people infected (0.1%), not so high, but still it’s something. I know that everyone is different, and some parents don’t want their kids vaccinated (right to freedom). But what about their kids? Are they informed well enough about taking a risk without vaccination?
Here are some questions raised by New York Times-the Learning Center
— What do you think schools should do about unvaccinated students? Why? What are the pros and cons of your stance for students, schools, parents and public health?
— What do you think about parents who choose not to vaccinate their children? Do you think you will vaccinate your own children? Why or why not?
— Do you think pediatricians should refuse to treat unvaccinated children in their practices (for the concern of infecting babies who are too young to vaccinate)? Why or why not?
What would you do if you are a school director in this regard?
First of all, it depends how serious the infection (virus) is. And the fact that some parents don’t want their kids get vaccinated means they still think it’s OK not to do it (0.1% of death rate for the measles). On the other hand, if there is outbreak of any life threatening virus like ebola and if there is a vaccination, I don’t think anyone would refuse vaccination.
Also there is a possibility that parents are not informed enough about the disease and vaccination. So the first thing I would do If I were a school director is to investigate the virus and its vaccination, then let parents, teachers and kids know about them. If the virus is considered not that serious, maybe we can have kids decide (unless they are too young to decide).
If considered really serious, on the other hand, and still some parents don’t accept vaccination, having a special class for infected kids might be one option (in that case, I would ask the parents who refused vaccination to help), or ask the infected ones to absent for a while providing an adequate online education support.
Here are 6 True or False quiz on vaccination (New York Times). Please try to see how many of them you get right (I got 1 answer wrong):
- Vaccines often cause serious illness and death.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and chicken pox cause only mild illness, so there is no real benefit to vaccination.
- Vaccinating a large group of people helps keep those who haven’t yet been vaccinated, like young infants, healthy.
- It’s better to catch a disease like the measles than to receive a vaccine for it.
- Vaccine-preventable diseases are now so rare, there’s no longer a need to vaccinate against them.
- Research has shown a clear and consistent link between vaccines and autism.
The answers are as follows (to know the detail, please check the link above):
At age of 26, I got infected by chicken pox through children of the school where I was working (as you know, really serious infection for adult), and I had to stay at home for a whole month (my body literally did not function at all). Although it was tough having to stay at home, I didn’t complain because I knew how contagious it was, and I did not want other unvaccinated adults infected. I wished I had had a vaccination when I was kid (My parents didn’t even remember if I got vaccination of nor 🙂 )
We live in a society where there are sometimes too many choices to choose the right one at first glance. So knowing and providing right information are important to make full use of the things around us, like vaccination. And I think sometimes it’s a good exercise to put yourself in the shoes of other people through some controversial issues (in this case, school director and vaccination), because you can think about yourself, others and what’s happening in the world.