Involvement in interdisciplinary professional coalitions/organizations allows the healthcare professional to stay current in one’s field or specialty, gain an understanding regarding navigating socio-
- Discuss the pros and cons of the health care scenario noted below.
In a highly unusual outbreak of measles in Springfield, Missouri, 18 children became ill, 10 of which of the children had not been inoculated against the virus because their parents objected. These parents do not perceive risk of the disease, but perceive risk of the vaccine. They use information gained from mainstream media, connecting the vaccines with neurological disorders, asthma, autism, and immunology—and, decide not vaccinate their children.
- Discuss health care implications of school-age vaccinations at the macro system levels.
- Discuss your macro-level leadership stance of this controversial health care risk.
- Find a professional coalition/organization that supports your stance regarding use of vaccines for school-age children and your involvement with this professional coalition/organization.Description of the Assignment
The purpose of this project will be to address a health care controversy related to school-age vaccination. The project will entail researching the laws entailing the vaccination of school-age children at a state level, and taking a stance on this debatable issue. Leadership skills at the macro-level will be applied.
Health Care Issue Analysis
Controversy surrounds the vaccination of school-age children in the society. Some parents object to their children taking vaccines to gain immunity against preventable diseases such as measles, citing various health concerns. Among the major concerns, include the risk developing neurological disorders, asthma, and other complications. The media propagates these health concerns related to inoculation of school-age children against preventable diseases. This is despite overwhelming research showing low association between inoculation and the aforementioned health concerns.
Failure to provide vaccination among school-age children leads to increased risk of future recurrence of preventable and often fatal diseases such as measles, polio, mumps, rubella, and others. Despite the increased risks associated with failure to provide vaccination, moral and legal concerns emerge over whether authorities should force parents to give their children vaccination. The principle of autonomy in health care settings dictate that patients have the right to choose the various forms of treatment or procedures that can be done to their bodies.
Pros and Cons Related to Vaccination of School-Age Children
Children who receive vaccination may enjoy various benefits as relates to the case study. One of the benefits is reduced risk of contracting measles and other preventable diseases. From the case scenario, 10 of the children infected with the virus had not been inoculated against the disease, while 8 had received immunization. Another benefit of receiving vaccination is reduced risk of disease epidemic. Most outbreaks are likely to occur in areas where there are high number of individuals without vaccination. Vaccination reduces the risk of disease transmission. This is because those who are vaccinated are less likely to become ill and pass it to others. This also reduces death rate from preventable diseases such as measles.
Vaccinations may present certain complications among children. In most cases, vaccine-related adverse effects such as fever, mild rash, and temporary joint pain are reported. Information obtained from media indicates that vaccinations increase the risk of developing various illnesses such as neurological disorders, asthma, autism, and problems with the immune system. From the case scenario, 8 children had received vaccination against measles, yet they experience a recurrence of the virus. This indicates that vaccination may fail to prevent diseases.
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Health care Implications
The medical stance of children greatly depends on the attitude of their parents or guardian towards vaccinations. When parents advocate for vaccination as the key to eliminating diseases, children are more likely to develop a positive attitude towards vaccination. Education also plays a critical role in ensuring that children develop a positive attitude towards vaccination. Teachers can play a critical role ensuring that children develop positive attitudes. By educating children on the benefits and the need for vaccination, children are able to recognize its importance and at the same time demystify the myths surrounding vaccination.
The parent’s stance of children receiving vaccinations depends on whether they perceive the risks or the disease or risk of vaccination. According to Browne, Thomson, Rockloff, & Pennycook (2015), about 40% of parents in the U.S. may delay vaccinations or refuse vaccinations of their children sighting various health concerns. The 40% of parents hold a negative attitude regarding vaccination. The major contributing factor towards the negative attitude among parents is lack of proper understanding of the role of public vaccination campaigns. Another factor contributing towards negative attitude on vaccination is lack of trust towards health authorities. Parents may lack confidence in public health authorities to deliver positive health outcomes to their children. This can lead to a negative attitude on vaccinations.
Another reason contributing to negative attitude is inaccurate personal biases that are shaped by one’s interactions with others in the community (Browne et al., 2015). For instance, the media can significantly influence one’s personal biases in favor of or against a particular situation. Another reason contributing towards the negative attitude is the idea of complementary and alternative medicine. Parents who believe in complimentary and alternative medicine hold contradicting medical beliefs to those held in the contemporary medical field. Certain sociocultural factors influence parent’s opinions regarding contemporary medical practices (Browne et al., 2015). For instance, some parents believe in adopting purely natural approaches to health.
There are various benefits to giving school-age vaccination against preventable diseases. First, vaccination helps in reducing pandemics such as measles outbreak among school-age children. Vaccination also prevents deaths that could result from the preventable diseases. According to Whitney et al. (2014), vaccination will prevent about 322 million cases of disease among individuals born between 1994 and 2013. Immunization will prevent a further 732,000 deaths. Receiving vaccination is cost effective among parents and the society. The cost of providing vaccination is lower comparing to that of treatment when affected by the preventable disease. In addition, there are societal costs associated with illnesses. Vaccination helps in elimination of preventable diseases thus making the diseases no longer a pandemic (Whitney et al., 2014). This helps in protecting future generations against consequences of such diseases. Lastly, vaccination helps in reducing incidences of disease transmission. Children who receive vaccination are less likely to develop preventable illnesses. This helps reduce disease transmission rate.
Various implications may emerge when children fail to receive vaccination. One of the implications is higher incidences of epidemics occurring in the U.S. Vaccination helps prevent various diseases among the population. When a large segment of the population is not vaccinated, it is easy for a particular communicable disease to spread, becoming a pandemic. Another implication is higher death rate. Whitney et al. (2013) notes that death rate is higher in populations with low vaccination rates. Children who do not receive vaccination pose health risks to others. This is because they are likely to easily acquire diseases and infect others who are close to them.
Macro Leadership Stance
There is no risk in school-age receiving vaccinations against preventable diseases. An overwhelming body of evidence indicates that adverse health impacts of vaccinations are rare, and thus vaccinations are safe. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2013), only a small fraction of children who receive vaccination experience adverse effects of MMR vaccine. For instance, only 4 in 10,000 children develop febrile seizure. Febrile seizures are convulsions that may occur when a child experiences fever. Since the introduction of vaccines, deaths from preventable diseases such as measles has significantly reduced. In the past, preventable diseases such as measles were a leading cause of death. This shows the efficacy of vaccinations in preventing deaths from diseases such as measles, mumps, and other diseases. According to Whitney et al. (2015), immunization prevents about 322 million illnesses among those born between 1993 and 2013. Vaccinations has helped eliminate some diseases such as polio and measles. For instance in 2000, measles was recognized as less endemic to the population. There is no risk to the population since the vaccines are thoroughly tested before they are availed for countrywide use in inoculation.
It is significant for children to receive vaccinations against preventable diseases. It is every parents’ wish that their children stay healthy. As such, vaccination can help eliminate a number of preventable diseases and thus ensure children remain healthy. Another factor to consider is low complications arising from preventable diseases. Common complications include hearing loss, convulsions, paralysis, and others all which are preventable (Hendriks & Blume, 2013). Vaccination gives children immunity against preventable diseases common in some parts of the world where vaccination has not been effective. Thus while traveling, children can remain safe from such preventable diseases. Lack of vaccination increases the risk of spreading diseases to other children, for example, those who are yet to receive vaccination owing to their young age. There is increased risk of disease outbreaks when parents fail to inoculate their children. Lastly, parents bear a public health commitment to protect others by ensuring vaccination of their children.
Professional Coalition/Organization at the State Level
There are various organizations that address the use of vaccines for school-age children. Every Child By Two (ECBT) is one such organization. Its major aim is to develop awareness among parents about the importance of immunizing their children by age of two. ECBT is a non-profit organization founded in 1991. ECBT is involved in raising awareness of vaccinating children at the appropriate age. The organization also raises critical issues such as the need to ensure vaccine schedule compliance. The organization also dedicates efforts to fighting negative attitude towards vaccination among parents. The organization achieves this by providing key information about vaccine safety drawing on peer reviewed literature (ECBT, 2016).
Every Child By Two organization fully supports my stance. Every Child By Two organization has been critical in voicing various issues regarding vaccination in school-age children. Notable developments include its campaign programs on vaccine benefits and safety. The program on vaccine benefits aims at proving parents with critical scientific information on the number of deaths and infections averted through vaccination. With regard to safety, ECBT emphasizes on the elaborate systems that are put in place ensuring that vaccines are safe for use. The organization also helps provide key information about immunization schedules to both professionals and parents. The organization also provides schedules for parents who have missed vaccination programs and have been left behind as a result (ECBT, 2016).
Another major thing covered involves countering the misinformation that exist among the public regarding vaccinations. The organization details various research countering misinformation that parents have concerning vaccinations. For instance, the organization asserts there is no evidence suggesting that vaccination leads to autism. The professional organization also addresses what it terms as the “questioning parent.” This comprises of parents who are interested in having their children vaccinated but have numerous concerns. One of the greatest concerns raised by parents involves the issue of having too many vaccinations within a relatively short period. The organization notes that children currently receive more vaccinations compared to the past. While this is true, the organization notes that vaccines used in the past contained about 3000 antigens to about 153 antigens today (ECBT, 2016). This means that modern vaccines have fewer bits of the respective vaccine and thus more effective.
Parents play a greater role in influencing children attitudes towards vaccinations. Parents who discuss about the positive benefits of receiving vaccination with their children instill a positive attitude among them with regard to receiving vaccinations. The research indicates that about 40% of parents may refuse or delay vaccination of their children owing to the misinformation that exists. Educational programs that focus on countering the misinformation that exists and on providing information about the benefit of vaccination can help parents in positively changing their attitude towards vaccinations. My macro leadership stance holds the view that vaccination is safe and is key in fighting preventable diseases. Vast literature indicates that vaccination has significantly reduced deaths and eliminated disease outbreaks or pandemics, in particular measles and polio. Every Child By Two (ECBT) is a professional organization that dedicates efforts towards enlightening parents on the importance of having their children receive vaccination.
- Browne, M., Thomson, P., Rockloff, M. J., & Pennycook, G. (2015). Going against the Herd: Psychological and Cultural Factors Underlying the ‘Vaccination Confidence Gap’. PLoS ONE, 10(9).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2013). Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine safety. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/mmr-vaccine.html
- Every Child By Two (ECBT). (2016). About. Retrieved from http://www.ecbt.org/
- Hendriks, J., & Blume, S. (2013). Measles Vaccination Before the Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccine. American Journal of Public Health, 103(8), 1393–1401. http://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2012.301075
- Whitney, C. G., M.D., Zhou, F., PhD., Singleton, J., PhD., & Schuchat, A., M.D. (2014).Benefits from immunization during the vaccines for children program era – united states, 1994-2013.(). Atlanta: U.S. Center for Disease Control.
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