Vaccination In Nigeria

897 Words 4 Pages
A decade ago in Nigeria, rumors spread that polio vaccines were surreptitious sterilization efforts. That led to a boycott of the vaccine in 2003 and a resurgence in the poliovirus three years later. This story highlights a key point about vaccinations: Confidence is critical. Lack of confidence in vaccinations -- lack of confidence in their effectiveness, their safety and their usefulness -- has fueled a growing debate about the use of vaccines. Vaccines have, no doubt, revolutionized medicine; however, growing trends in delayed vaccination schedules and vaccination exemption requests highlights a fundamental flaw in vaccine confidence in parents. Discussions surrounding vaccinations spark important ethical and social questions -- should …show more content…
Instead, efforts should be made to increase confidence in vaccinations.

Increase in vaccine opposition highlights the need for increased efforts to regain vaccine confidence. Last December, a measles outbreak in Disneyland was linked to over 100 individuals. In July 2003, five states in Nigeria initiated a boycott of polio vaccination which persisted for eleven months. The damage – short as well as longer term – was severe. The boycott, driven by rumours and distrust, quintupled polio incidence in Nigeria between 2002 and 2006. Today, there are several persistent as well as new challenges ahead for immunization efforts. Concerns about such issues as vaccines’ safety and the increasing complexity of immunization schedules have fostered doubts about the necessity of vaccinations. Science matters, and is an absolutely crucial foundation for every aspect of ensuring safe and effective vaccines -- But it is not enough. As a new generation comes that has not experienced the horrors that polio caused or has only heard of measles on the news, the greater the opposition to vaccinations. In a recent study conducted by Ohio State University, 41% of young adult surveyed were opposed
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However, an ethical dilemma lies in the balance of personal autonomy and choice versus protection of the entire at risk population. Striping parents of their right to chose to vaccinate their children is ethically flawed. Widespread use of these exemptions threatens to undermine many of the benefits of mandatory vaccinations, such as preserving “herd immunity.” Since it is unlikely that state governments will eliminate such exemptions outright, society must consider other methods of providing incentives for vaccination and compensating those who have suffered due to a disease outbreak caused by a community’s loss of herd immunity. Evaluating and resolving ethical issues around mandatory vaccination programs are vital. The adage “do no harm” can be applied to vaccination activities -- that is, the vaccination should be of benefit to the subject being vaccinated; care should be taken to prevent any harm that might accrue from the vaccination; compared to other procedures for addressing the same issue, the vaccination should be the best opportunity for successfully preventing disease as compared to the risk for

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