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Three Perspectives on Vaccinations

            I originated my research question from the article "Can You Make Yourself Smarter?" by Dan Hurley in the "AP Seminar Performance Task: Individual Research-Based Essay and Presentation" packet. When I read about Hurley's research on enhancing the human brain, I thought about what factors could affect brain function. I immediately thought of chemicals, and then asked myself "Where could these chemicals come from?" The answer was vaccines, which are used to provide the body protection against diseases by stimulation the production of antibodies (Perlstein). After some research on vaccinations, I became very interested about the topic and wondered if it was justifiable to make them mandatory. Already, all "50 [U.S.] states require vaccinations for children entering public schools even though no mandatory federal vaccination laws exist" (ProCon.org). This shows how important vaccinations actually are, which then made me wonder why and what the concerns and benefits of receiving vaccines are. There are many untrue statements about vaccines and what negative effects they can cause. For example, a concern parents have with vaccinating their children is how it could harmfully influence their brain. It is a myth that children without vaccinations could be denied enrollment into certain schools. Children that have a medical, religious, or philosophical vaccination exemption or a proof of immunity can still attend private or public schools. Not getting vaccinated does not negatively effect a child's education, but could harm them in other ways. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) states "measles vaccination resulted in a 75% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2013 worldwide." Because of vaccines, so many lives are saved. Vaccinations can have medical, ethical, and economic benefits and consequences on individuals and the economy.

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