Vaccination: Benefits, Dangers and Prejudice in the United States of America and Europe

  • Gentrix. G. Smith

Abstract

In early colonial America, the smallpox virus spread quickly among growing populations, killing as many as half of those who caught it. When one of the earliest forms of immunization called inoculation was introduced in the West, colonizers fought over whether it was safe. Their fear was reasonable: The process to inoculate against smallpox in the 1700s was much more harrowing, and less safe, than modern-day vaccination. But the principles are the same, and even back then statistics showed that immunizing communities helped reduce the number of deaths. The problem was that the process to inoculate soldiers would take weeks, and he hesitated to take any troops off the front lines. However, after losing a battle over British-occupied Canada in part due to an outbreak of smallpox in the camps Washington made a decision to have his soldiers inoculated. Today, many historians credit the move with helping the Continental Army win the Revolutionary War. Vaccines are one of the greatest success stories in public health; through use of vaccines, US have eradicated smallpox and nearly eliminated wild polio virus. The number of people who experience the devastating effects of preventable infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria, and whooping cough is at an all-time low. To ensure the continued success of vaccines in the United States, it’s crucial to make sure that vaccines are safe. Before vaccines are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), scientists test them extensively to ensure they are effective and safe. Vaccines are the best defense we have against infectious diseases, but no vaccine is actually 100% safe or effective for everyone because each person’s body reacts to vaccines differently. Vaccines, though designed to protect from disease, can cause side effects, just as any medication can. Most side effects from vaccination are mild, such as soreness, swelling, or redness at the injection site. Some vaccines are associated with fever, rash, and achiness. Serious side effects are rare, but may include seizure or life-threatening allergic reaction. In USA, the concern with vaccine hesitancy has been laid primarily at the feet of African American and Latinx communities in the United States. Study after study appears to show that more Black and Brown people, out of proportion to their numbers in the population, are getting sick and dying from COVID-19 compared with whites, yet resisting the vaccinations because of mistrust. Vaccines are the most successful medical invention to prevent many infectious diseases. Although many vaccines have been developed against various infectious disease unlike smallpox still there is an existence of bio burden on vaccine-preventable diseases. However, modern research discovering has a greater contribution by finding new vaccines to protect society from infectious diseases. Although vaccines and vaccination programme are more successful, there was a lot of struggle behind the discovery of vaccines.

Keywords: Vaccine, Vaccination, Dangers, Benefits, Prejudice, USA, Europe

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Published
2021-07-27
How to Cite
Smith, G. G. (2021). Vaccination: Benefits, Dangers and Prejudice in the United States of America and Europe. Journal of Medicine, Nursing & Public Health, 4(2), 7-18. Retrieved from https://stratfordjournals.org/journals/index.php/Journal-of-Medicine-Nursing-P/article/view/840
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Articles