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Parents and Immunization of Children

World Health Organization (WHO) describes vaccine hesitancy as the refusal or reluctance to accept vaccine despite access and availability of vaccines. Vaccine hesitancy is one of the global health threats (Reich, 2018). Reich (2018) asserts that statistics released by WHO over the past years reveals that immunization prevents over two million deaths annually. However, concerns emerge on the potential reversal of the gains made because of the increase in the rate of vaccine hesitancy. In the United States, for example, measles was considered eradicated in 2000 (Navin, 2015). In 2019, measle outbreaks emerged across states in the United States (McDonald et al., 2019). McDonald et al. (2019) explain that the reason for the increase in the explosion of preventable diseases is because of parents’ refusal to vaccinate their children. This paper discusses some of the reasons why parents refuse to immunize their children against preventable diseases.

Most parents take actions based on safety concerns for their children. There is a lot of content on the internet that argues against vaccines using previous negative experiences of some parents (Dube et al., 2016). When an immunization process does not follow guidelines, such as providing a prescribed amount of vaccine to a child according to their age, then complications are likely to occur. Dube et al. (2016) explain that when medical practitioners omit some guidelines on immunization and children have adverse effects, sometimes parents of such children share their experiences in online platforms. Those experiences convince other parents against immunizing their children on safety reasons. Safety of children is a factor that parents consider when making decisions for their children.

Religious belief is another reason that some parents use to refuse to immunize their children. In the United States, there are only four states that refuse to offer vaccination exemptions based on religious beliefs (Reich, 2018). The remaining states allow parents to decline immunization of their children if it goes against their religious beliefs. Reich (2018) explains that decisions made based on religious beliefs are difficult to dissuade because of the moral ethics and core religious beliefs of a parent as opposed to the ignorance of a parent. When parents refuse to immunize their children because of religious beliefs, their refusal is to all types of vaccination.

Some parents would want additional education on a vaccine before they accept immunization of their children. The reason for additional information is to make an informed-decision when fully aware of the benefits and associated risks (Navin, 2015). Studies have indicated that a third of parents in the United States expressed concern about lacking enough information on various immunization procedures (McDonald et al., 2018). According to McDonald et al. (2018), some parents explained in most studies conducted on vaccine hesitancy that they could not understand the explanations that their children’s doctors provided on immunization. McDonald et al. (2018) add that some of the studies revealed a desire by parents on detailed information on vaccination in a non-biased and accurate manner. Lack of additional education is a reason for refusal by some parents to immunize their children.

In conclusion, vaccine hesitancy is increasingly becoming a global health threat. It is not the lack of vaccines that is of concern, but the refusal by parents to take their children for immunization. Several reasons drive parents to refuse vaccination of their children, but the ones discussed in this paper are safety concerns, religious beliefs, and need for additional education on immunization. These reasons capture the mentality of parents who refuse to immunize their children. It is imperative that solutions to these reasons are developed to avert the threat of a reversal of the gains made in the health sector on preventable diseases.

During his presidential campaigns, Donald Trump mentioned that he wished to restore America’s former glory. Based on his manifesto, this would partly be achieved by regulating immigrants that enter the country, especially from Southern America. In Trump's perspective, a physical barrier would serve to halt uncontrolled entry into America via the Southern Border.

Additionally, it would alleviate the suffering that immigrants undergo while crossing the Desert of Mexico en route to the US. When Trump occupied the White House, he began the process of actualizing his dream for the barrier. Thus, he lobbied for support from different groups in building the wall. Currently, the idea has received support and backlash with equal measure in America and beyond. The criticism associated with the construction of the Mexican border wall, therefore, forms the main point of discussion.

The dominant opposing trend in the conversations includes the source of funding for the wall, the court case against the idea, and Democrats’ undedicated opinion. President Trump has all along maintained his stance that Mexico would pay for the construction of the 722 feet wall that would cost approximately $19 billion over ten years (Quester). Trump suggested that cutting tax remittances to Mexico through a review of The Patriot Act would provide the money required for the construction of the wall. The US may also decide to reduce trade dynamics with Mexico and use the proceeds of this business distortion to fund the wall.

Mexican President Mr. Pena has consistently maintained that his country would not pay for a project that stands in the way of all what his nation believes in (Quester). Since initial plans to have Mexico pay for the wall are not forthcoming, President Trump is now desperately turning to the Congress to have it provide the much-needed money to build the wall. He plans to exchange this favor for his support of the Democrats’ sponsored program on legitimizing 800,000 undocumented young Mexican immigrants (Morin). The Democrats have expressed disapproval of the construction of the wall and thus refused to throw their weight behind Trump’s budgetary request for border security. In an interesting observation, the same left-wing politicians were for the construction of 700 border wall five years ago (Thiessen).

Lawyers and human rights activists have also opposed the policy of building the wall. The Fifth Amendment has been instrumental in supporting claims made by lawmakers on the breach of the constitution in case the policy is adopted. The Takings Clause states that the government has to pay a fair price for land taken (Livni 6). Livni argues that it would be impractical to pay for land running over 2000 miles. According to David et al., much of the wall is bound to pass along privately held land, or lands owned by Native tribes (63). Therefore, taking such land by the government would be breaching the Takings Clause.

Perhaps the most important reason to explain why the border wall proposal is yet to materialize is the validity of Trump's proposals. Different spheres keep on asking if building a border wall is moral. Further, it is questionable if the intended purpose of the wall would be achieved. Even without the wall, there are forces involved in the smuggling of drugs into the country. These illicit dealings happen in the full glare of law-enforcing authorities.

Additionally, immigration in the United States is not solely from Latinos. There are other avenues through which immigrants enter the country which may not be resolved by the building of the wall. The rhetorical trends behind this conversation are taking the better part of the proposal and appear to crumble Trump's technique of restoring the American greatness.

The lesser voices in the conversation on the Mexican border wall are of the people of Mexico in and out of America and the international community. President Pena's refusal to fund the wall indicates that he is unsatisfied in Trump’s argument that he is responsible for the influx of Latino-associated criminals into the US. Initially, Trump maintained that Mexican immigrants to America were lowly skilled people who contributed nothing to the growth of America’s economy. Any Mexican would recognize this statement as a blatant lie and an open show of disrespect to the Mexican elite in America working in different industries. Mexicans living near the border have already expressed disappointment on the wall since it makes them appear as pariahs (Diaz). Some have even staged a demonstration to oppose the wall, making desperate pleas to Trump's administration to cease seeing them as America's enemies. Mexicans living in the Tijuana region are already unhappy with the heavy machinery producing noise and other forms of environmental disturbance. They are also dismayed by the exploitation by the American government since they have to be hired cheaply to build the wall (Diaz).

A United Nations’ expert on biodiversity rebuked the wall saying that it would result in environmental disturbances. Since flora and fauna have no respect for political borders, a physical wall means that some species would cease to exist since they depend on the natural environment to reproduce (Xinhua). The European refugee crisis also shows that a physical barrier is not effective in controlling immigration (Leon, Paynter). These sentiments are very important and should not be ignored in analyzing this bone of contention. The failure of the wall to work in other places, for example, is proof that physical barriers are not effective in immigration control. 

Conclusively, the backlash associated with the construction of the US-Mexico border wall is likely to cause harm than good. The fact that the wall is a breach to the constitution lacks a supported financial program, prevents free dispersal of flora and fauna between the two countries, and portrays a state of isolation between the US, and its neighbors is an indication that the president should consider other better ways of solving illegal immigration to America. Human rights activists' Proposals to modify immigration requirements to meet UN international standards should be adopted by the president because they promote unity, harmony and humanistic treatment of people. It is recommendable that the Wall policy as presented by President Donald Trump be abolished because it lacks empirical evidence, is inhumane, and is therefore bound to fail even at the expense of taxpayers’ money.