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As a nursing major, vaccines play a critical role in my field, protecting throughout the world from disease and its spread, I want to be educated about vaccines so that as a nurse I will able to effectively educate and persuade my patients to protect their health by being vaccinated, I know firsthand how a lack of education about vaccines and the diseases they protect against can affect a person’s decision to be vaccinated. Before this year, I refused optional vaccines, like the seasonal Influenza vaccine, because I did not believe that vaccines were effective, and I did not see how my decision to decline vaccination not only impacted my own health, but even more so, the health of others around me.
The nurse at WLC presented me with reasons to be vaccinated that I had never considered and changed my views. It was also where I heard about the HPV vaccine for the first time. With the increasing spread of STD’s worldwide, it is important to educate those at higher risks for contracting them, who could benefit from receiving the HPV vaccine, and find a way to get the vaccine to them.
However the next step of administration of the HPV vaccine remains highly debated.
The federal government regulates parts of the healthcare system, and current federal regulations require specific vaccinations before children can enter the public education system The HPV vaccine is not one of these required vaccines The main debate concerning the HPV vaccine is no longer the efficacy or safety of the vaccine; it is whether or not the federal government should be able to pass mandates making the HPV vaccine a requirement for children in the public education system In the last decade, the government has made several unsuccessful attempts to pass such mandates with the primary opposition coming from parents who felt their authority was challenged by the government overstepping their boundaries, A group of experts who analyzed over 200 articles concerning vaccine mandates highlighted this issue in the Journal of School Health, writing: Literature on parental acceptance of the HPV vaccine shows it is generally viewed favorably, but a vaccine mandate that challenges parental autonomy was clearly a source of controversy“.
Controversial messages regarding mandates may negatively impact acceptance among undecided groups, undermining the vaccine’s efﬁcacy and potential to decrease disease.
Furthermore, distrust of HPV vaccination could create negative feelings toward other vaccination programs, potentially causing an increase in vaccine preventable diseases. (Casciotti 80) In addition to parental opposition, the negative associations with vaccine mandates can lead people toward rejecting the vaccine rather than receiving it, Other arguments have been made that HPV, not spread by casual contact, is an individual matter rather than a matter of herd immunityt If classified as an individual matter, the government would not necessarily have the ground claim of protecting the general health of the public. My paper aims to address the political ethics (the power and the role of government to act in healthcare) in this debate, Although the idea of mandating vaccines is to ensure that everyone’s health is protected (which I originally agreed with), the results of enforcing vaccine mandates could have the opposite effect intended. From the research I have done so far, it seems that more people would receive the vaccine and have their health would be better protected if the government did not mandate the vaccine.
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