Make MMR vaccinations mandatory in New Zealand.

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It used to be that vaccinations were considered a normal part of childhood, right alongside loosing teeth and toilet training. However, in recent years vaccinations have been a hot button issue with many people having contrasting point of views about whether or not vaccinations should be made mandatory for everyone. The idea of New Zealand citizens choosing not to vaccinate their children seems preposterous considering how many people were left with twisted backs and withered limbs due to polio, or the amount of deaths caused by the result of measles. Although its apparent that these vaccinations do not cure the diseases, it does help prevent the person from contracting the disease itself. 

In the past few years there’s been endless cases of measles outbreaks nationwide. For instance, as mentioned on the health ministry website, “the 2011 measles outbreak had affected over 595 people in Auckland and many other parts of New Zealand” this is an absurd amount of people considering that New Zealand’s population was only made up of 4.38 million in 2011. Another case in 2016 included seven temporary school closures in four regions – Waikato, Auckland, Northland and Nelson. In these schools those who weren’t immune had to be excluded from school and were quarantined for 14 days. This could have been so easily prevented by all New Zealand citizens being vaccinated from this somewhat deadly disease that has seized our country. In fact, New Zealand is close to eradicating measles and any reduction in immunizations will see the return of this awful disease. However, this is set to change due to cautious parents listening to the Anti-Vaccine group who had developed a movie that hushes the fact that hundreds of thousands of New Zealand children have been healthier or alive due to vaccinations. This movie includes underlying conspiracies that the public should not have trust in the global health system. But, many parents are still ironically believing a man who had been found to be a fraud with his research falsely claiming vaccinations had led to Autism and other health problems in children. But we cannot blame them, as Dr O’Sullivan once wisely said “The health and well being of our children is probably one of the most guarded aspects of parenting. Sometimes despite all the evidence, all the science and all the facts it might just come down to trust. Trust in someone to provide the best possible advice because we can not expect every citizen to have an expert view on every issue.” Thus, we must find ways and resources to regain their trust if we’re wanting to see a change in our health system.

Currently, 92 percent of children aged two years (as of March 31st 2018) were fully immunized. However, there is still the gap of 8 percent of children who are not immunized - thus putting people in risk if New Zealand were to have a measles outbreak again.

 



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