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Should all parents be legally required to provide immunizations for their infants

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Furthermore, there are strong reasons to consider why infant immunization must not be made legally mandatory. Parents should not be legally required to provide immunization for their infants. Various psychological factors and theories can be attributed to this statement. The ambiguity aversion theory suggests how the failure to measure the risks associated with one’s actions results in the decision not to act. Missing or unavailable information regarding the decision can cause individuals not to act (Serpell amp. Green, 2006). In a study conducted on flu vaccines, it was discovered that individuals who already display reluctance towards immunization tend not to vaccinate upon receiving additional information. In this case, researchers have discovered that estimates of potential vaccinators or parents willing to provide immunization to their children fell when they became aware of the death rate attributed to vaccination (Meszaros, et al., 1996). For instance, the lack of consensus regarding the notorious MMR vaccine amongst the medical community led parents not to vaccinate their children with MMR because of the criticism surrounding its merits (Serpell amp. Green, 2006). Furthermore, humans operate on the basis on certain protected values whereby they are bound by certain absolute values that cannot be interfered with (Sturm, Mays, amp. Zimet, 2005). Certainly, immunization for infants cannot be made legally mandatory for parents because of these values. There are risks associated with the disastrous effects of vaccines on infants as well as mortality which some parents may not be willing to take. This is supported by a study whereby participants chose the vaccine which was least damaging even though it was least effective (Ritov amp. Baron, 1990). Furthermore, older participants demonstrate greater instances of such behavior (Ritov amp. Baron, Protected Values and Omission Bias, 1999). Therefore, parents falling in the older age bracket may be less willing to go for harsh vaccines for their infants compared to younger ones. Some vaccines may not provide any real benefit at all or provide benefits that are short-lived. For instance, chickenpox is viewed as a common infection in children even though it is less harmful. Unfortunately, the results of the Varicella vaccine that claims to provide immunity against chickenpox tends to last for only 10 years whereas, getting the infection once is said to provide immunity for one’s entire life (Gust, Darling, Kennedy, amp. Schwartz, 2008). Clearly in this case, vaccination is doing more harm than good as it stops the occurrence of chickenpox which makes the infant susceptible to getting it at some other point in his/her life (Gust, Darling, Kennedy, amp. Schwartz, 2008). It is common for parents to weigh the risks against benefits of vaccination. Those who decide not to go ahead with the vaccine have clearly made a choice to risk infection than coping with any unknown side-effects of the vaccine. The fact that Chickenpox is a common disease and that the vaccination causes disruption in the normal course of action in the human body contribute to parents’ decision of not vaccinating their infants against it. However, it is not just the vaccine itself but the process or systems for immunization that can result in parents’ decision of not vaccinating their infants. Of particular importance is the complicated schedules for immunization and long waiting hours in hospitals because of which parents resist the process of vaccination