Sources for Immunization Exemptions


  1. Armstrong, Eamon C. “Reaction to “New Meningococcal Vaccine Recommendations under Consideration”.” [“Comment on article by J. C. Turner”]. Journal of American College Health, vol. 54, no. 2, September/October 2005, pp. 127-128. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3200/JACH.54.2.127-128.
  2. Orenstein, Daniel G.1 and Y. Tony2 Yang. “From Beginning to End: The Importance of Evidence-Based Policymaking in Vaccination Mandates.” Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, vol. 43, Spring2015 Supplement s1, pp. 99-102. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/jlme.12228.
  3. Sun, Lena. “Trump Energizes the Anti-Vaccine Movement in Texas.” The Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2017, Accessed 16 Apr. 2017.
  4. Wombwell, Eric,, et al. “Religious Barriers to Measles Vaccination.” Journal of Community Health, vol. 40, no. 3, June 2015, pp. 597-604. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10900-014-9956-1.

My first source argues that the benefits of widespread meningococcal meningitis vaccinations aren’t worth the cost. Armstrong believes the cost of the “herd immunity” that must be present for vaccines to be effective is so large that it outweighs the few lives saved. I’m conceding to this more finance-based counterargument because of his strong evidence and my inability to statistically refute his claim; however, I will be refuting it on a moral ground, suggesting we can’t put a price on a human life.

My second source explains the authority of the government to force immunizations, and then establishes how and when the government should use this power. I am using this source to explain a state’s right to enforce vaccinations, provided they are safe for the public. I will then use other sources to prove the safety of the vaccines. This source also supports my argument for the necessity of increased vaccine education. It lists countries which have some of the highest vaccination levels but lack compulsory immunizations. It claims these countries’ easily accessible vaccine information leads to their pro-vaccine public. Thus, it reinforces my opinion that education should be used to counter the anti-vaccine message.

My third source covers the history and claims of the anti-vaccine movement and the current events of both the pro- and anti-vaccine movement. I’m using this source to give the reader context for understanding my argument, to explain counterarguments, and support my anti-personal belief exemption argument. This source cites many reputable studies refuting the arguments of the anti-vaccine movement and explains the dangers of the increasing number of personal belief exemptions, supporting my belief in eliminating them.

My final source addresses the concerns of religious communities with the safety and morality of the measles vaccine. It also considers how these communities are contributing to high rates of unvaccinated children. This source is important for both my argument on religious exemptions and increased vaccine education. It highlights each mainstream religion’s stake in the immunization argument and explains why religious exemptions are necessary. It also discusses how some members of these communities use religious exemptions when truly worried over safety, rather than religious conviction. Immunization refusals due to safety qualify as personal belief exemptions. Thus, religious exemptions, in this case, are being inappropriately used. This supports my argument that the terms for receiving a religious exemption should be made stricter to ensure they are given for purely religious concerns. The source also explains a study done on Amish parents who asked for religious exemptions. Eighty-two percent of the parents claimed they would vaccinate their children if given proof of their safety. This supports my argument for more education on vaccines to counter the anti-vaccine message and alieve the fears of parents.

My sources 1, 2, and 4 give evidence for very specific parts of my argument, while my source 3 provides a broader coverage of my topic. Source 3 supports the elimination of personal belief exemptions; sources 2 and 4 encourage greater vaccine education; source 4 also substantiates my claim for stricter religious exemptions; and source 1 provides a counterargument. All my sources work together to showcase what the issue is, my belief, and what should be done for the future.


College Advocacy Research Topics

The topic that most interests me is forced immunizations on college students. When I went to high school in California, a new law was being implemented concerning immunizationimmunizations. Before the summer of 2016, students could refuse immunizations on the grounds of personal or religious reasons. The new law ended this policy, and now only medical waivers are suitable exemptions. Specifically at UD, the MMR and meningococcal vaccine are required. I think the issue of the immunization controversy is interesting because although I believe immunizations are necessary for public health and should be enforceable, those who disagree for religious or other personal reasons do have a valid argument. I’d like to explore this issue and focus on the necessity of immunizations and why their benefits justify their necessitation, with a focus on the benefits of the immunizations required at immunizationsUD. Questions I’d like to explore are: to what extent can a college in a democratic nation with the freedom of religion enforce immunizations on those who disagree because of their religion? do the benefits of immunizations for the public health and security of the nation outweigh the concerns of the few who are against them? what are the advantages of immunizations? what legal rights do those against immunizations have?

Another topic I’d like to consider is the issue of guns on college campuses. There is a growing number of colleges that allow guns. Eight states allow guns at colleges, and 24 gunsothers allow the individual colleges in their state to decide. A study done by Johns Hopkins University in 2016 determined that campus carry laws are “unlikely to deter rampage shooters and may in fact lead to more injuries and deaths.” Some argue that guns make the public safer, but as demonstrated by the Johns Hopkins study, it can also be argued that guns lead to increased violence. Others believe that prohibiting guns on campus would be an infringement on the second amendment right to bear arms. Although I don’t believe that guns should be permitted at college, those who argue for the protection of the second amendment do have a sound point. Questions I would consider are: to what extent can a college, established within a nation that has the right to bear arms, restrict that right? what are the dangers of allowing guns to be carried on campuses?

The third topic I would consider is the subject of internet privacy. With the recent repeal of certain internet privacy rules, broadband companies can now use the sensitive data (i.e. browsing history, geolocation, and medical and financial information) of their customers without permission. Particularly with college students who use technology extensively, internet privacy is extremely important. I think internet privacy for college o-internet-privacy-facebookstudents would be a valuable issue to explore because internet privacy is esteemed by the public but is sometimes relinquished for the benefit of businesses. Questions I would pursue are: to what extent can college students expect their online actions to be private when there is no written national amendment concerning internet privacy? what are the benefits of relinquishing online privacy? what is currently private online for college students?