Recently in the news there has been positive and negative stories about vaccines and immunizations. On the good side, a new study has shown that the HPV virus has been reduced significantly due to the HPV vaccine, which was introduced a decade ago.
However in Great Britain, the death of several children due to a meningitis outbreak has raised debate about who is allowed to receive certain vaccines and immunizations and when in that country. Vaccines have become a source of conflict in the last several decades, offering many research paper topics to explore.
Vaccines and immunizations for college students
While all states within the U.S. require vaccines and immunizations of school-age children, until recently the same requirement has not existed for college-age students. However, an outbreak of measles at Disneyland in 2014 has led many institutions of higher learning to change their policies. Research papers could examine how the discredited 1998 British study by Andrew Wakefield has altered how a generation of children has been vaccinated.
The March 2015 issue of University Business explained more about how this issue is affecting college students in “Outbreak Forces Review of Vaccination Mandates: Many States Not Requiring Immunizations for College Students” by Stefanie Botelho. One of the colleges changing their rules is the University of California system. Botelho wrote, “The university system announced that, starting in 2017, it will require all students to receive vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, meningococcus, tetanus and whooping cough.”
Reducing the HPV virus
As a result of the HPV vaccine introduced 10 years ago, a recent government study released in the news has found that the rates of the sexually transmitted disease in teenage girls is down by two thirds and by more than one third in 20-something women. The Dallas Morning News offered a post by Claire Cardona, “Vaccine has reduced HPV in teenage girls by almost two-thirds, study says” on February 21, 2016, with more details.
Cardona wrote, “Despite the vaccine’s proven effectiveness, immunization rates remain low — about 40 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys between the ages of 13 and 17.” The HPV virus can cause genital warts, and many cancers, including cervical, anal, penile, and mouth and throat. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 4,100-plus women will die of cervical cancer in 2016.
The vaccine for the HPV virus has been controversial, because many associate it with sexual activity, rather than the prevention of cancer, which is the immunization’s intention. As a result, the HPV vaccine became a political issue, another area to examine in a research paper.
Meningitis outbreak in the news
In Great Britain, the focus in the news has been on different vaccines and immunizations, particularly a new vaccine for meningitis B. This strain of meningitis affects about 1,800 children a year in the United Kingdom. However, the recent deaths of two young children turned the spotlight on this disease.
Jenny Rohn wrote, “Making the meningitis B vaccine available for all children makes sense” on February 22, 2016, for The Guardian, with more on the issue. A preventable disease, caused by a bacterial infection that can lead to blood poisoning or inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, Rohn explained meningitis “kills about one in ten of those it infects. And it can cause significant and permanent disability in about one in five of those who survive.”
Despite the small number of deaths connected to this or any meningitis outbreak, the majority of people are horrified by the preventable deaths of young children. From a sociological or philosophical point, what research paper ideas could be explored about the contrast between helping the few at the expense of the many?
Is being up-to-date on all your immunizations something you think or worry about? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.