The Daily Gamecock

Column: Vaccinations should be mandatory in almost all cases

Vaccinations must be mandated by the government across the United States as viruses present a danger too great not to act on.

While most school districts and universities recommend vaccinations, exemptions exist to this rule, namely religious belief or personal belief. However, the only exemption that should exist for vaccines is for those who are medically unable to receive them in the first place, such as in the case of allergic reactions or the immunocompromised.

To understand why, people must comprehend the danger diseases originally posed to humanity. Vaccines have given us a sense of safety from diseases that used to ravage our civilization. Generally speaking, mothers no longer have to worry about their children dying at age five because of measles or polio. This sense of safety has made many in society forget the grim reality that people faced before vaccinations became widespread.

Take measles for instance. Before the introduction of the vaccine, major epidemics were common, and the average annual death toll by measles was 2.6 million. Death is not the only effect the virus has. Even if an infected person recovers, they can still suffer from deafness, an intellectual disability or subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), which is a rare but fatal disease that affects the nervous system.

Such horrors were prevented by the massive vaccination campaigns but as time went on, society has forgotten what mankind was saved from. Now thanks to an entirely falsified study that links vaccines to autism, high profile celebrities, such as Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, supporting anti-vaxxer rhetoric and the growing problem of misinformation on the internet, there is a growing minority that is pushing back against vaccinations and threatening to undo the hard work doctors and scientists have done to better our world.

Put simply, doctors and scientists have put in the work to ensure that these vaccines are as safe as possible and hold no risk towards those that receive them. They do this through rigorous studies and trials that usually take years to complete. Once again, the conspiracy that vaccines cause autism is just that: an untrue and fraudulent story. Even with the theoretical threat of autism, why would you still choose to not vaccinate your child and risk them dying a painful death, being blinded or developing lungs ravaged by scars?

Another counterargument might be if everyone else is vaccinated, why should I get vaccinated? Here’s the thing, that’s not entirely true either. There are people who cannot safely get vaccinated. These individuals depend on the rest of the population being vaccinated to ensure that the pathogens that cause these deadly diseases cannot be transmitted. So not only does one put their own child at risk by not getting them vaccinated, but they’re putting others at risk as well. 

So when all is said and done, there is absolutely no reason that vaccines shouldn’t be mandatory. They are a vital part of keeping the world safe and eradicating horrible diseases from the planet. Our society should be moving heaven and earth to ensure this becomes a reality for every preventable disease.

As the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out, it is paramount that everyone gets vaccinated as soon as possible. Only then can things truly return to normal.


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