We all remember those elementary school days where we sat in the doctor’s office and our mom or dad kept telling us that we had to get shots or we couldn’t go to school.
Then the doctor walked in and we all held our breath and clenched our butt cheeks as we hoped and prayed to hear those five magical words…“You don’t need any shots.”
But the line between mandatory and voluntary immunization has become skewed as of late
“Vaccinations are a hot topic right now,” said SC senior Ashley Lynch. “Parents are questioning vaccines more and more and it continues to become a bigger issue in public health care.”
Vaccinations remain one of the most effective disease prevention interventions that public health in the United States has produced. However, current immunization requirements at the state level are inconsistent and vary significantly from mandatory to voluntary.
One main question of debate remains: do individuals have the right to decide if they get vaccinated or not?
Ashley Lynch, a health science major, and Michael Accordino, Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, are trying to help the public health care society find that answer.
On one side of the spectrum, people choosing not to be vaccinated would result in concerns about country-wide inconsistencies and may bring about worries of a bio terroristic attacks.
On the other side, the debate between patients having the right to know what is being put into their body and having the option to decline if they want to, and whether physicians have the right to screen out patients who have refused vaccinations in the past.
“There are two sides to this argument,” said Accordino. “The one side is, if we don’t get vaccinated then that is public peril. However, the individual rights side is, does somebody have the right to say no?”
Both Lynch and Accordino will be taking a look at these arguments and representing Springfield College during the World Biotechnology Congress as they present their poster entitled, “The War on Vaccinations: Constitutional Right versus Public Peril.”
The World Biotechnology Congress, or WBC, provides a platform for researchers and decision makers in biotechnology to present their latest findings and learn about all the important developments in biotechnology.
Scientists, pharmacists, professors and students from around the globe will be in attendance to view posters, presentations and speakers. Some of the main topics for this year’s congress are: Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Plant and Environment, Industrial and Manufacturing and Medical Biotechnology.
The Congress, which will be held in Boston this year, is a four-day event that will run from June 3-6, with the soon to be SC alum, Ashley Lynch, and professor Accordino presenting on June 3.
“It’s starting to become an issue of people’s rights as U.S. citizens,” stated Lynch. “We have the right to be educated and we should be educated from both public health and individual rights advocates’ perspectives.”
Vaccines are not just an elementary school thing anymore. They affect anyone and everyone. It is important to understand your rights as a citizen, but also how your actions may affect others around you.