Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that mainly affects children. Symptoms include red skin spots, fever and a considerably weakened general condition which can be life-threatening in some cases due to severe courses (complications) with pneumonia and brain inflammation.
Should Measles vaccinations be mandatory?
Should the measles vaccinations be mandatory?
For many diseases, vaccinations provide effective protection, but always carry certain risks of vaccine reactions. Whether vaccinations should be used or not is therefore always a weighing of the risks and often leads to differing opinions both in society and among experts.
Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that mainly affects children. In addition to the typical red skin spots (measles exanthema), the disease causes fever and a considerably weakened general condition. Common complications include diarrhea (in 8% of cases), middle ear infection (7%), and pneumonia (6%). This disease is caused by the measles virus and can be life-threatening in some cases due to severe courses (complications) with pneumonia and brain inflammation. In most countries, the disease is notifiable.
Some facts about Measels
• 90% of unvaccinated people get infected with measles, when exposed to the virus.
• 3% of vaccinated people get infected with measles, when exposed to the virus.
• Mortality rate is 0,3% up to 28% in areas with malnutrition and poor healthcare.
• In the US in 1960 (before vaccination started) 3000 people of 1 000 000 died, it was 13 of 1 000 000 in 1980 and 1 of 1 000 000 in 2000.
• Severe side effects of vaccination affect about 3 in 100 000 vaccinated people including Thrombocytopenia, Anaphylaxis and Encephalitis.
What do you think , should a measels vaccination be mandatory or not?
1. Are you for or against measles vaccination?
a) How do proponents argue?
b) How do opponents of vaccination argue?
2. Put yourself in the role of an expert/politician. How would you argue…
a) … if you would like to promote a vaccine mandate for measles?
b) … if you oppose installing a vaccine mandate for measles?
3. Do your own research.
a) Find list of (seemingly) scientific based arguments favoring respectively opposing the use of vaccines.
b) Elaborate on the connection between the main question and scientific facts.
c) What other aspects influence the decision on vaccination?
Arguments for mandatory measles vaccination:
Arguments against mandatory measles vaccination:
Scientific facts that are important for the arguments:
Other aspects that influence the arguments:
This problem can be integrated in the topic viruses and infections in earlysecundary education. Basic statistical understanding is helpful but not mandatory.
Controversy in this example. From a purely mathematical standpoint, one would assume that there should be no question as to whether one should be vaccinated or not. However, encroachments on personal rights, such as bodily inviolability, are not easy to implement depending on the culture and the legal situation, nor should they be.
• SSI have a basis in science and require people to engage in dialogue, discussion, and debate.
• They are mainly controversial in nature.
• They require forming opinions and making decisions including scientific, moral, ethical or social reasoning issues.
Dealing with SSIs
• Dealing with these issues requires evaluating incomplete information because of conflicting or incomplete scientific evidence and incomplete reporting
• Often these issues involve a cost-benefit analysis in which risk interacts with ethical reasoning.
The goal is to understand how different opinions evolve and strengthen.
1. Read the text carefully!
2. How do you position in this context!
3. Put yourself in the role of an expert. How would you argue…
4. Do your own (internet) research.
5. What other aspects influence the perception of this case?