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Are vaccines safe? Show more Show less
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Immunisation is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. "Anti-vaxxers” have firm convictions about vaccines’ harmful effects and many people believe their children have been harmed by vaccines. Others have ‘vaccine hesistancy’: they are not inherently anti-vaccine, but are concerned or confused by the mixed messages they are exposed to and want to do the best for their children.

Vaccines are safe Show more Show less

Until the beginning of the 20th Century, infectious diseases were the most common cause of death. This is no longer the case because of the development of vaccines. The reality is that vaccines have saved countless lives.
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Vaccines cause herd immunity

Vaccines protect those who haven't or can't been immunised through herd immunity.
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Context

For accurate information on the efficiency of vaccines, consult the WHO website.[1]

The Argument

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that immunisation averts 2-3 million deaths worldwide each year.[1] Vaccines don’t just save the lives of the children vaccinated. They save the lives of those who are not vaccinated by ensuring pathogens cannot spread quickly across the population. This is called herd immunity.[2] Immunisation aims to protect the individual against a disease. It also makes that person less likely to be a source of infection to others so protecting those that are not immunised as it stops the germs responsible for infections being transmitted between people. A significant number of the population need to be immunised to offer herd immunity – this number depends upon how infectious the disease is. Children with weakened immune systems due other diseases or medications they are taking are not recommended to be immunised. These included lung, heart, liver, kidney disease or diabetes. Newborn babies are deemed too young to be immunised. Children receiving chemotherapy for cancer are not offered immunisations due to their weakened immune system. Measles has a 50% death rate for children with a weakened immune system so the importance of herd immunity can be seen here to protect vulnerable children who are unable to be immunised.

Counter arguments

Premises

[P1] Vaccines save lives not only by protecting those who are immunised, but those who haven't or can't be immunised.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.who.int/topics/immunization/en/
  2. https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/immunisation

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This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Mar 2020 at 14:28 UTC

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