Immunization Essay

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THE FEAR OF VACCINATING CHILDREN The Fear of Vaccinating Children in the 20th Century: Struggle Between Health Care Providers and Parents Sona Patel Pitzer College December 7, 2013 THE FEAR OF VACCINATING CHILDREN 2 Abstract Immunizing children caused tension between parents and health care providers. Parental fear was prompted by the scarcity of information, safety concerns, personal beliefs, and distrust in the government. Parents were weary of mercury content in vaccinations and over immunizing their child at a young age. Many families used alternating vaccine schedules as a result of their fear. In response, health care providers created incentive and educational programs to reduce anxiety about immunizing children. Text messages were used to remind parents of their child‟s impending vaccinations. Nurses were trained to handle parental anxiety and remain unbiased when educating parents about vaccinations. In conclusion, this paper focuses on fear of immunization and the way in which health care providers have responded. Keywords: children, vaccinations, parental fear, health care THE FEAR OF VACCINATING CHILDREN The Fear of Vaccinating Children in the 20th Century: Struggle Between Health Care Providers and Parents 3 In our society, healthcare providers struggle with parents about vaccinating children. Fear and anxiety are associated with immunizing children due to parental preferences and preconceived notions. In order to understand the complexity of this debate, one must question what a vaccine is. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a vaccine is “a product that produces immunity therefore protecting the body from the disease” (CDC, 2012). Vaccines are “one of the most important life-saving measures of all time” (Luthy, Beckstrand, & Meyers, 2013). The U.S. government made vaccinations mandatory for school

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