Childhood diseases and vaccines

Hi Luschen! Would you mind helping me to rate this essay, please? Thank you very much!

Topic: Many childhood diseases can now be prevented through the use of vaccines. Should parents be made by law to immunize the children against common diseases or should individuals have the right to choose not to immunize their children? Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Immunizations are one of the most significant achievements in healthcare, saving millions of lives and preventing illness and lifelong disability in millions more. Although some regard the vaccination of children as a parental right, it is more efficient to pass a law to protect the young with vaccines.

There are a number of reasons why parents’ decision whether or not to have their children injected matters. First, children with serious health problems have to avoid some vaccines as the risk of counteraction is high. For example, in order to insulate those with mental disorders from infections, it is important for others, such as their siblings, to get vaccinated. Second, poor social and economic environment make it nearly impossible for some parents to afford medical care for the young. In fact, in developing countries, since extreme poverty deprives various communities of their livelihoods, the small amount of money they have is used to save the whole family from famine rather than buy their children vaccinations.

On the other hand, if governments make the immunization of children compulsory, they can better promote the well-being of youngsters. First, vaccinating children on time is proven to be the most important way parents can protect their children from serious diseases. In fact, most people tend to delay vaccination schedule of their children due to heavy workload, or, even worse, some can not fully appreciate the benefits of giving children proper healthcare as they are more reliant on obsolete superstitions that appeal to protection of gods. Thus, if a vaccination act were introduced, there would be more motivation for parents to keep track of children’ shots, which helps raise people’s awareness of the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Second, by having the young vaccinated before the onset of diseases, health agencies can prohibit the transmission of virus in the state of preparedness with human resources like doctors and medical supplies, which saves a large amount of money in the long run for the governments. The money saved will, in turn, be spent on providing not only free health services but also educational programs, enhancing the well-being of the next generations even more.

In conclusion, vaccination is truly the best way to protect children’s health from childhood diseases as well as reinforce their immune system. Therefore, in order to foster the future prosperity of the whole society, government officials should not only provide the young with free vaccines but also allocate more funding for vaccine research and raise people’s awareness of early immunization.

TOEFL listening discussions: An assistant lecturer talking to a new student

Hi Bibo, I didn’t think your first body paragraph was very effective. I admit it is tough to justify parents’ choosing not to vaccinate their kids, but I think you could have done better. Not being able to afford vaccines seems like a little different topic.
I think a big reason you missed is religious convictions - it might be agains someone’s religion to vaccinate theirr children. And some parents believe that vaccines are dangerous. You could continue by saying this is not true, but you could at least mention it. Altogether, your first body paragraph was a little confusing. The rest of your essay was extremely well written though.

Thank you very much for your consideration, Luschen! I actually have no idea about why it is against someone’s religion and why parents think vaccines are dangerous. Could you break it down for me, please? I really appreciate your help. Btw, “herd immunity” is an interesting phrase I did not know before.

Hi Bibo, I think the anti-vaccine movement is more common in the US and some Western European countries. Here is an anti-vaccine group’s website to give you an idea of their thought processes. Here are their religious objections: Here is the key section:

[i]All vaccines are made in violation of God’s Word.

Vaccines are made with toxic chemicals that are injected into the bloodstream by vaccination.

All vaccines are made with foreign proteins (viruses and bacteria), and some vaccines are made with genetically engineered viral and bacterial materials.

A conflict arises if you believe that man is made in God’s image and the injection of toxic chemicals and foreign proteins into the bloodstream is a violation of God’s directive to keep the body/temple holy and free from impurities.

A conflict arises if you accept God’s warning not to mix the blood of man with the blood of animals.

Many vaccines are produced in animal tissues.

A conflict arises if your religious convictions are predicated on the belief that all life is sacred.

God’s commandment “Thou Shall Not Kill” applies to the practice of abortion.

When you believe that the practice of abortion should not be encouraged or supported in any way, a conflict arises with the use of vaccines produced in aborted fetal tissue even though you did not have any other connection with the abortions from which the vaccines are derived.

Notice that they think that vaccines are made from aborted fetuses - this is not true and in fact, no major religions really have a problem with vaccines at all.

Here is the section on the medical risks:

Once again, I doubt all this information is true and in any case, they are definitely overstating the risks and understating the benefits.