Mandatory Vaccines: Annotated Bibliography

734 words | 3 page(s)

Averhoff, F., Linton, L., Peddecord, K. M., Edwards, C., Wang, W., & Fishbein, D. (2004). A middle school immunization law rapidly and substantially increases immunization coverage among adolescents. American journal of public health, 94(6), 978-984.
This article describes the problem of reaching higher rates of immunization in schools in order to ensure the prevention of outbreaks of disease. The problem is that voluntary immunization does not result in high enough rates to ensure herd immunity, and when herd immunity is not sufficient vaccination programs do not achieve their goals and outbreaks of disease occur. In this case, the passage of a law requiring immunization for school entry has the effect of greatly increasing compliance rates. In order to meet the needs of the objectives of vaccination for school aged children, mandatory requirements are necessary to ensure compliance and herd immunity.

Omer, S. B., Salmon, D. A., Orenstein, W. A., deHart, M. P., & Halsey, N. (2009). Vaccine refusal, mandatory immunization, and the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases. New England Journal of Medicine, 360(19), 1981-1988.
There are great risks when children in school are not vaccinated, as this allows for a point of entry for disease into the community and population. This article discusses the importance and the potential problems which less than perfect compliance can create in terms of undermining the objectives of vaccination programs and also outlines a history of mandatory vaccination requirements, such as the first mandatory requirement for vaccination against smallpox in Massachusetts in 1809, an example which was followed by other states leading to a dramatic decline in incidence by1840. Unfortunately smallpox returned by 1870 due a decrease in enforcement of the law. These events provide a clear historical reason for implementing mandatory vaccination to support efforts in reducing the incidence of preventable disease.

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Stewart, A. M., & Cox, M. A. (2013). State law and influenza vaccination of health care personnel. Vaccine, 31(5), 827-832.
This article discusses the importance of mandatory vaccination in the population of health care workers, given their special status as interacting with the sick and vulnerable and therefore the potential for spreading contagions and disease. The influenza virus in particular is a cause for concern, and the article points out that the result of unvaccinated healthcare workers has included patient mortality and increased costs of healthcare. For the most part the requirement for health care workers to be vaccinated against the flu is voluntary, however this has not worked to reduce the incidence of the flu in health care workers and it is a continued cause for concern in relation to patient health. The article further investigates the mandatory policies and laws to better understand the risks of non-compliance by health workers in seeking flu vaccinations, despite the importance and necessity.

Van Panhuis, W. G., Grefenstette, J., Jung, S. Y., Chok, N. S., Cross, A., Eng, H., … & Burke, D. S. (2013). Contagious diseases in the United States from 1888 to the present. The New England journal of medicine, 369(22), 2152.
This article discusses the problem of reaching maximum herd immunity with regard to immunization due to the phenomena where, when immunization levels reach a certain point, voluntary immunizations are resisted by many in the population. This occurs despite the importance of vaccines throughout recent history in stemming disease, death and injuries through preventing outbreaks. This article discusses the many successes of vaccination programs in order to make clear the need from a population health perspective. In order to maximize the potential preventative power of the immunization it is necessary to find ways to raise the immunization rates so that herd immunity becomes possible, and mandatory immunization holds the potential to do that.

Wicker, S., & Marckmann, G. (2014). Vaccination of health care workers against influenza: Is it time to think about a mandatory policy in Europe?. Vaccine, 32(38), 4844-4848.
This article makes a strong argument for the mandatory vaccination of health care workers, particularly with regard to influenza, in the context of Europe. Because vaccination rates in general remain low in Europe this poses a health risk for health care workers and for their patients. In fact, the immunization rate is below thirty percent, which is nowhere near sufficient for herd immunity to occur. The article refers to policies in the United States which have, through mandatory requirements, had vaccination results that are nearly one hundred percent, ensuring that outbreaks do not occur and that those health care workers, patients and the community can benefit from a low incidence of influenza and other preventable diseases.

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