- 07/27/2019 at 7:14 pm #1524533EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
Direction: Read the given passage and answer the questions that follow.
A growing number of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. They are dubbed “antivaxxers,” and the majority of them believe that vaccines are a cause of autism (or other disease conditions), a link that has now been thoroughly disproven. Others object to vaccines on religious or moral grounds (e.g., the argument that Gardasil vaccination against HPV may promote sexual promiscuity), on personal ethical grounds (e.g., a conscientious objection to any medical intervention), or on political grounds (e.g., the notion that mandatory vaccinations are a violation of individual liberties).
It is believed that this growing number of unvaccinated individuals has led to new outbreaks of whooping cough and measles. We would expect that herd immunity would protect those unvaccinated in our population, but herd immunity can only be maintained if enough individuals are being vaccinated.
Vaccination is clearly beneficial for public health. But from the individual parent’s perspective the view can be murkier. Vaccines, like all medical interventions, have associated risks, and while the risks of vaccination may be extremely low compared to the risks of infection, parents may not always understand or accept the consensus of the medical community. Do such parents have a right to withhold vaccination from their children? Should they be allowed to put their children—and society at large—at risk?
Many governments insist on childhood vaccinations as a condition for entering public school, but it has become easy in most states to opt out of the requirement or to keep children out of the public system. Since the 1970s, West Virginia and Mississippi have had in place a stringent requirement for childhood vaccination, without exceptions, and neither state has had a case of measles since the early 1990s. California lawmakers recently passed a similar law in response to a measles outbreak in 2015, making it much more difficult for parents to opt out of vaccines if their children are attending public schools. Given this track record and renewed legislative efforts, should other states adopt similarly strict requirements?
What role should health-care providers play in promoting or enforcing universal vaccination? Studies have shown that many parents’ minds can be changed in response to information delivered by health-care workers, but is it the place of health-care workers to try to persuade parents to have their children vaccinated? Some health-care providers are understandably reluctant to treat unvaccinated patients. Do they have the right to refuse service to patients who decline vaccines? Most of the insurance companies do not want to provide coverage to unvaccinated. Do insurance companies have the right to deny coverage to unvaccinated? These are all ethical questions that policymakers may be forced to address as more parents skirt vaccination norms.
Which of the following statements can be concluded in the context of “herd immunity”?
(i) It stands for an individual’s ability to mount an effective immune response
(ii) It works only when a majority of the people is vaccinated
(iii) It limits the spread of diseases to unvaccinated people
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