Advance English Composition

Required Resources
Read/review the following resources for this activity:

Textbook: pp. 94-103, 267-270
Minimum of 1 article (academic or credible online source)
Apply the following writing resources to your posts:

Link (library article): Point: Vaccines Save Lives (Links to an external site.) (This link will take you to an overview of vaccines. Click on the title under Related Items in this overview area to access the article. This is a sample pro article.)
Link (multimedia presentation): Citing References in Text (Links to an external site.)
Link (website): APA Citation and Writing (Links to an external site.)
Initial Post Instructions

Part 1: Research & Review
Please review the Point: Vaccines Save Lives, an example of a pro article.

Note: The article was pulled from our Chamberlain library’s Points of View Reference Center database. This resource is highly recommended, as it presents many of the topics in the General Education Healthcare field that may be applicable this term. To access the resource from our library website, choose Databases A to Z on the homepage. Locate and click on the Points of View database. Scroll down to Health & Medicine. You will see a large list of potential topics ranging from Allergies in Schools to Vegetarianism. When you click on a topic (Vaccines, for example), you will see an overview of the topic, as well as points, counterpoints, and a guide to critical analysis.

For your initial post, develop your ideas about a selected topic by conducting an online search to find a recent pro article about your topic. The goal is to find an article that takes a clear pro position. Include the following in your post:

Name of the article
Brief summary of the article
The article can be an online source from credible websites or an academic resource from the Chamberlain Library. It must be cited in APA format. For pointers on APA citations, please refer to the Chamberlain Library’s Citation and Writing Assistance website (noted in the Required Resources).

Part 2: Application
For the second part of the initial post, address the following:

Discuss which of the topic generation methods from this week’s lecture worked best for you and why (or did you use an alternate approach?).
How will you remain objective about your topic?
Who is your audience?
Based on the topic development completed so far, brainstorm 3 potential pros for your topic choice.
Follow-Up Post Instructions

Respond to at least two peers or one peer and the instructor. Strive to provide constructive criticism that will help your fellow students develop their own topics by asking questions, pointing to additional research, or providing professional and personal examples. Help your fellow peers to brainstorm potential pros for their topics. Since many of the topics we will deal with in this course are controversial, a respectful, professional tone is expected.

Note: If you see that someone has already received feedback from two peers, please choose to help a peer who has yet to obtain feedback.

Writing Requirements

Minimum of 3 posts (1 initial & 2 follow-up)
Initial Post Length: minimum of 3 college-level paragraphs
APA format for in-text citations and list of references

Vaccines & Health Hazards: Overview.


Ballarlo, Beverly

Sprague, Nancy


Points of View: Vaccines & Health Hazards. 2017, p1-1. 1p.

Document Type:



VACCINATION of children


SUDDEN infant death syndrome

VACCINATION complications


Geographic Terms:

UNITED StatesReport Available


The article examines the debate over the effectiveness and safety of vaccination. Despite efforts by U.S. health agencies, major medical associations and practicing clinicians to convince parents of keeping their children’s immunizations up to date, some parents and critics continue to have doubts about the benefits of having children vaccinated. Causal links between certain vaccines and diseases, such as the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) vaccine and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), have been reported.



Full Text Word Count:




Accession Number:


Vaccines & Health Hazards: Overview

Full Text

Related Items

Vaccines Save Lives.

Vaccines: Caution Advised.

Vaccines & Health Hazards: Guide to Critical Analysis.

The new flu needle uses a smaller needle to deliver flu vaccines under the skin


Choose a Topic.

Evaluate a Website.

Write a Topic Sentence.

How To Understand the Bias of a Publication


The mainstream American medical establishment has long contended that the public health benefits of vaccines–to prevent such diseases as diphtheria, tetanus (lockjaw) pertussis (whooping cough), polio, rubella, measles, mumps, hepatitis B, varicella (chickenpox), and influenza–heavily outweigh the relatively small risks associated with such preventive measures. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most major medical associations, and the vast majority of practicing clinicians have invested significant energy in a campaign to convince parents to keep their children’s immunizations up to date.

For a small but persistent number of parents and advocates, however, the wisdom of inoculating children against certain common childhood diseases remains suspect. According to these critics, vaccines may cause serious side effects or even prove fatal. Some believe that simultaneously giving a child multiple vaccinations for different diseases can overtax an immature immune system and produce lasting damage.

Opponents of mandatory vaccinations have suggested causal links between the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccine and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine and Crohn’s disease, the hepatitis B vaccine and multiple sclerosis (MS), and between the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine and brain damage.

The greatest controversy in the vaccine safety debate, however, has swirled around some parents’ passionate conviction of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Based on the epidemiologic evidence gathered for numerous studies conducted to probe this theory since it first surfaced in 1998, however, most medical authorities have concluded that the weight of scientific evidence does not support the hypothesis that the MMR vaccine causes autism.

Some researchers have suggested that because the vaccine is administered to young children around the same age that autism symptoms typically emerge, observers have attributed a causal link to what is more likely a case of coincidental timing.

Understanding the Discussion

Anthrax: An infectious, generally fatal, disease that usually affects cattle, sheep, and goats. People exposed to anthrax can suffer sores, swelling, fever, pneumonia, blood poisoning, and death.

Autism: A collection of neurologically-based developmental disorders in which individuals have impairments in social interaction and communication skills, along with a tendency to have repetitive behaviors or interests.

Avian Influenza: A highly contagious flu found in birds. The bird flu virus does not usually infect humans, although confirmed cases of human infection have been reported since 1997.

Endemic: Describes a disease or pathogen that is present or usually prevalent in a particular population or geographical area at all times.

Epidemiology: The branch of medicine that deals with the study of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in groups of people.

MMR: The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. It is typically administered in two dosages, the first when a child is between twelve and fifteen months old, and the second between the ages of four and six years.

Thimerosal: A mercury-based preservative that has been used in some vaccines since the 1930s.

Vaccine: A preparation that contains an antigen, consisting of whole disease-causing organisms (killed or weakened) or parts of such organisms, that is used to confer immunity against the disease that the organisms cause. Vaccine preparations can be natural, synthetic, or derived by recombinant DNA technology.


Controversies over vaccine safety have raged for as long as vaccines have existed. In 1796 the English doctor Edward Jenner developed the world’s first vaccination, for smallpox, after observing that milkmaids who had contracted cow pox, a mild condition, were not susceptible to smallpox, a deadly disease.

Jenner’s method of deliberately exposing a patient to infected cowpox fluid to confer immunity worked, but the notion of deliberately introducing diseased matter into a healthy body provoked fear, skepticism, and sometimes even violence. Although Jenner was confident enough in the safety of his vaccine to inoculate his own infant son, in 1853, more than half a century after his landmark discovery, the English government was compelled to pass a law making vaccination mandatory for all its citizens. So persistent were the doubts about the safety and necessity of vaccination, however, that in 1898, the government dropped this requirement, although it continued to encourage vaccination.

Between Jenner’s discovery of the smallpox vaccine in 1796 and 1980, when the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared smallpox eradicated, new vaccines emerged for many other infectious diseases that have caused enormous suffering throughout human history. These included vaccines against rabies, plague, cholera, typhoid fever, diphtheria, pertussis, tuberculosis, tetanus, yellow fever, influenza, polio, mumps, measles, rubella, and anthrax.

Ironically, the very success of vaccination efforts in causing once-dreaded diseases to fade into distant memories may have contributed to increasing concerns over vaccine safety. As fewer and fewer Americans witnessed firsthand the ravages of epidemic diseases such as measles (which claimed 120 deaths as recently as 1989-1991) and rubella (which afflicted, between 1964 and 1965, about 20,000 newborn babies with deafness, blindness, heart disease, or mental retardation because their mothers had been infected with the virus during pregnancy), many began focusing more on the risks of vaccines than on the horrors of the diseases they prevented.

In response to growing concerns over vaccine safety, Congress passed in 1986 the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which made mandatory the reporting of adverse health events following specific vaccinations and also established a no-fault compensation system for those injured by vaccines. In 1990, the Vaccine Adverse Reporting System (VAERS) was established to monitor the safety of all vaccines approved for use in the United States. It was the VAERS system that flagged the Rotavirus vaccine’s role in a number of serious bowel obstructions that triggered pulling the vaccine off the market for further study.

With national vaccine safety protocols in place, public health officials launched an aggressive campaign to promote vaccinations. In 1994 the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program was established to provide access to free vaccines for eligible children, and in 1995 several major pediatric and medical organizations endorsed a uniform childhood immunization schedule. By 1994 officials were able to certify the elimination of polio in the Americas, by 2003 they declared measles no longer endemic in the Americas, and by 2005 they declared rubella no longer endemic in the United States. Compliance with recommended vaccination has improved dramatically with school entry mandates for immunization. (Davis, Gaglia, 2005)

These triumphs, however, did not end the controversy over vaccine safety. In 1999 the first rotavirus vaccine, which has been licensed only a year earlier, was pulled from the market because of its adverse side effects, specifically intestinal blockage. Public confidence in vaccine safety controls were further shaken in 2004 when the first Lyme disease vaccine, which the FDA had approved in 1998, was also withdrawn from the market amid a flurry of lawsuits against its manufacturer and increasing concerns of untoward side effects similar to the actual symptoms of Lyme Disease.

Beginning in 1999, at the same time questions began surfacing about the rotavirus and Lyme disease vaccines, consumer advocacy groups mounted a campaign to ban thimerosal, a mercury-based additive, from vaccines. That year, the Public Health Service and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended removal of thimerosal from child vaccines as a precautionary measure. Because mercury is a neurotoxin harmful to the developing central nervous system of fetuses and infants, some groups believed in the possibility of a causal link between thimerosal exposure from childhood vaccines and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), speech or language delays, and, in particular, autism.

In 2004, the Institute of Medicine’s Immunization Safety Review Committee examined epidemiological data from the U.S., Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom before concluding that evidence does not support a causal relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.

Vaccines Today

Three key developments have shaped contemporary attitudes toward potential vaccine health hazards. First, the September 11, 2001 attacks and the subsequent anthrax scare increased public fears of bioterrorism. Concerns over vaccine safety became overshadowed by worries of inadequate national supplies of anthrax and smallpox vaccine.

Second, government officials and scientists issued repeated, dire warnings about the possibility that the virus responsible for creating a fast-spreading epidemic of avian influenza, also known as bird flu, might cross the species barrier to infect humans. Faced with the prospect of a flu pandemic that could claim millions of human lives, safety concerns took a back seat to the urgent, as yet unfulfilled, quest to create an effective vaccine to prevent such a global catastrophe.

Finally, a 2005 study of more than 30,000 Japanese children definitively debunked, in the eyes of many scientists, the claim that the MMR vaccine could be responsible for rising rates of autism worldwide in recent years. When the number of children with autism continued to increase after the MMR vaccine was replaced with single vaccines, researchers concluded that the vaccine cannot be responsible for triggering the disorder on a large scale.

Skeptics, however, remain, with some parents and advocates convinced that the MMR may well induce the disorder in a small percentage of susceptible children. In 2005, Congress saw the reintroduction of a bill that would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ban the use of mercury in vaccines. The Mercury-Free Vaccines Act stalled in the House Subcommittee on Health; reintroduced again in 2007 and in 2009, each bill met the same fate as the earlier version. In January 2017, President-Elect Donald Trump, who believes in a link between autism and vaccination, appointed vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to head a commission on vaccine safety.

In 2012 and 2013, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) implemented a number of revisions, including a recommendation that the flu vaccine is safe for all persons six months and older. The ACIP also recommended eleven- and twelve-year-old males should receive the HPV4 vaccine and that a single dose of the meningococcal vaccination should be administered to military recruits.

According to information presented by JAMA Pediatrics in December 2012, a study of 190,000 women who had received the human papillomavirus vaccine from Merck & Company (one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers) revealed the vaccine to be safe. The study, which was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, found that 1.8 cases of skin infections out of 10,000 women did occur. Other possible reactions included seizures and birth defects, but it is not certain that these were direct side effects of the HPV vaccine. Physicians and researchers believe these adverse reactions were the result of pre-existing conditions or unrelated conditions that occurred after the vaccine was administered.

Based on CDC data for 1998 to 2015, vaccination against MMR, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, hepatitis B, varicella, and pneumococcal conjugate dipped around 2012-13 before climbing again. Declines in MMR vaccination were linked to a measles outbreak in California in 2014-15 and may be contributing to a rising number of mumps cases: 5,748 cases in 2016, up from 229 in 2012.

These essays and any opinions, information or representations contained therein are the creation of the particular author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of EBSCO Information Services.



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Recommending an Evidence-Based Practice Change