Disease Prevention: Two Issues of a Controversy

Diana L Montclair Final Paper
Professor Sandra Johnson
Independent Learning Strategies
November 29, 2011
Disease Prevention: Two Issues of a Controversy
With all the drug warnings on television commercials, it should be no surprise that the pharmaceutical companies have made a preventative medicine which might cause lifelong side effects or worse. It also shouldn’t be surprising that the efficacy of it is unknown. This preventative medicine is compulsory for everyone in most advance countries. You have to have it and, probably already have. This is part of a long standing controversy in America and throughout most of the world, vaccines. There are questions about its effectiveness and safety, including the safety of the ingredients. While there are many other issues surrounding the vaccine controversy, this paper aims to focus on the questions of efficacy (do they really work) and safety (do they cause medical problems).
Including combination vaccines (DTaP protects against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) (MMR protects against measles, mumps, and rubella) there are 32 recommended doses for the first year of a child’s life with another 4 doses three months later (CDC, 2011). Eight more are recommended by the age of six, including 4 annual flu vaccines, bringing the total to 44 (CDC, 2011). Over the next twelve years it is recommended that boys receive another 5 vaccines and girls another 8 plus 12 flu vaccines (one for each year) for both. A total of 61 vaccines doses are recommended for boys and 64 for girls by the age of 18 (CDC, 2011). To understand why so many vaccines are given and where the issues of safety and efficiency come from, one must first understand what a vaccine is and how they are made.
Vaccine: A History
In 1796, Edward Jenner discovered a way to prevent smallpox by infecting the patient with cowpox (KVR, 2011). Naturally there were many who praised this new invention and believed it would one day wipe out the dreaded and deadly...