A lot of young mothers in the modern day won’t remember the chicken pox. The chicken pox used to be commonplace not even a hundred years ago. Many infants died because of the disease, and many a kid or teenager got it at some point in their lives — but only once. This is also the case with shingles. Not even a century ago, polio used to be a major killer. Franklin D. Roosevelt, a former president of the United States, suffered from polio and eventually passed away because of the disease. In the early days of America, thousands upon thousands of Native Americans passed away due to smallpox brought in by Spanish and European invaders.
Nowadays, we have developed a handy tool to keep these diseases — and many more — at bay. These things, called vaccines, are administered for an assortment of diseases at different times in a person’s life. Some are given routinely, like the flu shot, and some are given only at certain points in a person’s life, like the polio vaccine or the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine. These vaccines have severely diminished the spread of these diseases and even rendered smallpox completely eradicated in the United States.
However, despite their phenomenal ability to prevent serious illness, some countries do not require vaccines. They might strongly encourage people to get vaccines, and they might even have serious benefit programs for people who get vaccines, but they don’t make it compulsory, or involuntary. Here is a list of some of the countries that don’t require vaccines. It is something you should be aware of if you are considering traveling to one of these places and have, for one reason or another, be unvaccinated.
15 Viva Italia
Italy is located in the southeast part of Europe in a famous boot shape. It is a major part of Europe both because of what it produces and because of its tourist attractions. Rome, Italy, is a major tourist destination, as well as many of the other cities for their food, culture, and music. Physical art is also abundant there. Because of the influx of people, it is incredibly important that major disease not spread. If something viral catches, it could spread quickly, including to other parts of Europe.
Despite this, vaccines in Italy are not mandatory. While many people do get vaccinated, it isn’t required. People don’t trust their government and vaccines are not regularly administered through schools or local clinics. Because of this, Italy still struggles with the measles, reporting comparatively large numbers to the rest of Europe — about twenty-one cases per million people — perhaps to do with their vaccinations policies or lack thereof.
14 Less Than 10% in Nigeria
Nigeria is an African country that sits on the coast of Guinea on the east coast. It contains many wildlife parks and natural reserves because of its location. Among these are Cross River National Park, Yankari National Park, and Zuma Rock. These things can attract tourist interest. The area is known for being in poverty, however the people have a lot of culture. They practice a lot of music, create art, and make amazing food.
Nigeria also has the lowest vaccination rates in the world. Less than ten percent of the population in Nigeria will receive a measles vaccine over the course of the year. Because of this, the infant mortality rate is higher in Nigeria than in most modern countries. The main reason for the low vaccine is a lack of vaccine policy in the country, and therefore the vaccines are more difficult to access. Accessible, affordable vaccines are harder to come by.
Madagascar is a large island nation off the west coast of Africa. Much of it is covered in rich forests that are inhabited by hundreds of thousands of different species of plants and animals, many of them found nowhere else in the world. Lemurs are the main staple of Madagascar, since they can be found nowhere else. There is also a city filled with royal palaces and burial grounds; it isn’t all a rainforest, as many people believe.
In fact, quite a few people reside in Madagascar. The people that do live there, however, do not often receive ample medical care. The main thing that these people do not receive are vaccinations. The country has no compulsory policy regarding vaccinations because the people can’t afford them. As a result, vaccines aren’t commonplace, and are expensive and inconvenient when they’re come by in some more rural areas. Some more urban areas will offer vaccines, but again, price can be an issue when the government doesn’t step in for part or all of the cost.
Ukraine, a sovereign state known for its Orthodox churches, is located in Europe. It is bordered by Russia, Bolarus, Poland, and Slovakia. In addition, it partly contains the Black Sea coastline, which attracts many tourists and the attention of its inhabitants. It is also home to massive forests and many medieval Christian pilgrimage sites, another destination for history buffs looking to experience the spring pilgrimage for themselves and visit those historic landmarks and walk the paths of people long since passed away.
Unfortunately, Ukraine does not have a particularly strong vaccination program. Their national government does not make vaccinations compulsory — this is not negligent on its own, however vaccinations tend to go forgone in poor areas. Because schools don’t provide them and local clinics often overcharge for them, many families don’t see the need to get them. A stronger policy for vaccination would be required to encourage people to fight against the deadly diseases.
Loas is located in southeast Asia, bordering Thailand and near Vietnam. It is largely a collection of islands scattered through an ocean area, and so there isn’t any large land mass and therefore the population is relatively low. Only six or seven million people live in all of Laos. Most of it is full of mountainous terrain and markets where people have food and craft stalls to sell their wares. This is the source of income for many countryside people in Laos.
Because of the lack of urban influence in Laos or because of the low income in Laos, vaccines aren’t really discussed there. Schools will require them and people will have to get certain vaccines before going to Laos, but in Laos, the culture for vaccines is different. Because of the rural atmosphere, vaccines are difficult to come by, and when they are come by they can be unaffordable.
10 Japan Ban
Japan is home to Tokyo, which is the biggest city in the world. It holds actually several of the biggest cities of the world and has an enormously huge population density. Population density is the number of people per square mile. Some places in Japan are rural, but the vast majority of it is incredibly urban and modern. Because of the population density, it is important to avoid outbreaks of deadly viral diseases that might spread quickly to different areas.
Japan, however, is quite well known for having banned the MMR (measles, mumps, Rubella) vaccine in 1989. This is because after allowing the vaccine, many public monetary and health concerns came up, and the government thought it best to shut it down. Several times the issue has come back up and each time the ban has stayed effective. The vaccine is simply not offered there, regardless of whether people want to get it.
9 Latvia Requires Signatures
Latvia is a country between Lithuania and Estonia, located on the Baltic sea. It contains a vast expanse of beaches as well as thick, fearsome forests; truly this is a land of multiple atmospheres and experiences. Much of Latvia contains medieval Christian architecture and museums, as well as several castles that garner the interest of tourists in Europe. Latvia is also one of the countries that does not do compulsory vaccinations, or require their citizens by law to vaccinate their children.
It’s worth noting that Latvia presses vaccinations quite a bit. The government requires signatures from parents who choose not to vaccinate. This is to hold them accountable for health concerns later. In addition, parents are quite pressured to vaccinate their children. While it isn’t compulsory, great lengths are gone to in order to get parents to vaccinate their kids for the better health of the entire nation and any tourists that might visit.
8 Oh, Canada
Canada obviously sits above the United States. It’s a huge, huge area, spanning much taller and wider than many people think. However, because of the inhabitability of the northern-most area, most of the people in Canada live in provinces located towards the south, southeast, and southwest borders. In these places the land is less hostile and more habitable. Canada is much like the EU in that it offers free health care, however, it does not legally require citizens to vaccinate.
Although Canada does not legally require citizens to vaccinate, many parents do so anyway. This is because most of the schools there will require vaccinations for students to be in the program. In addition, schools and local clinics have vaccines available at reasonable prices. Because of this, Canada does not have many outbreaks of easily preventable diseases or conditions. Some places in Canada even have free vaccinations because of the free healthcare system provided, although waiting times might be longer.
7 United States
Believe it or not, the United States does not actually require parents to vaccinate their children. Being that we have a government largely dependent on the concept that people do what they want to do, the system allows parents to make that decision for themselves and their child. Recently there have been outbreaks of measles and whooping cough because of a movement against vaccinations that believe vaccinations cause harm to a baby in their development in the long run. Although the country does not require it, most states require vaccine proof for the enrolment of school children to public school.
This movement has caused a lot of moral questioning because of the idea that vaccinations can be linked to other problems. Notably, people in support of this movement believe that vaccines are linked to autism. This, quite simply, isn’t true; both things go up over time on a chart, but they do not coincide with one another. Positive correlation does not equate to a coinciding or even a partial relationship. Many people who have been vaccinated do not have autism, and some children with autism may not have ever had a vaccination.
6 Keep Calm And Don't Vaccinate
Britain is a nation within the United Kingdom; they aren’t necessarily synonymous. Britain is an island off the coast of Europe, home to the British monarch and a lot of rainy mornings. Britain celebrates having free healthcare and affordable costs of surgery get people incredibly excited. This can make wait times longer, and taxes are often higher in order to pay for this, however it pays off in the long run because people have access to better and more affordable healthcare.
Britain, however, does not have a compulsory vaccination policy. Many schools in Britain also don’t require vaccines to get into schools. As a result of this, some outbreaks of the measles have occurred in places like Liverpool, Manchester, and other densely populated areas where schools are high in number. Someone who has an illness won’t necessarily pass it on unless other people aren’t vaccinated for the illness; therein lies the problem with not vaccinating in a culture where mass immunity is important.
5 I'm Switzerland
Switzerland is a country that sits in the middle of Europe. It’s largely landlocked, which means that it’s surrounded by other countries on all sides. Because of this, many people go through Switzerland to get to other places. This constant passing over into different countries makes it that much more difficult to keep a uniform policy with vaccinations. Switzerland does not require parents to vaccinate their children by law.
Switzerland doesn’t require parents to vaccinate their children, but they are among the countries that encourages it. They will provide immense benefits to parents who vaccinate their children. Vaccinations are readily available at clinics and schools for affordable prices to ensure that group immunity remains strong. This way, Switzerland can remain a safe place for people to be without worry of catching a deadly virus or disease that could have been easily prevented with a simple vaccine.
4 'Three Fingered' Sweden
Sweden is one of the ‘three fingers,’ the countries to the north of Europe that are oblong and separated by a thin layer of water in the middles. Sweden is a major player in the seafood market because of its location on the Atlantic coast. In addition, Sweden is a tourist attraction because of its scenic views. There are many beaches in Sweden, and many mountainous regions. It gets snowy in the winter and for that reason people like to ski there as well.
Sweden does not require by law for their citizens to get vaccinations. This being said, Sweden is one of the countries that encourages its citizens to vaccinate. Schools don’t require it; few schools in Europe do; but Sweden does encourage the concept of group immunity. Sweden has had some incidences of the measles in the past twenty years, but not enough to be contributed to a substantial problem in their immunization rate.
3 Down Under
Australia is unique in that it is both a country and a continent. It’s a massive landmass southeast of Asia. Much of it is desert, and that which is populated of Australia is near the coastlines. The outback is mostly desert and is largely uninhabitable. People in Australia operate mostly similarly to how the EU works with their healthcare systems, and therefore they do have accessible healthcare in Australia.
However, in Australia, they do not enforce compulsory vaccination laws, nor do they have those laws in the first place. Australia does follow the trend of other countries in that they encourage citizens to get vaccinations. Vaccinations are available at a lot of local clinics and possibly at some schools. This helps mass immunity, which is the idea that if a huge group of people is immune, so much as two people in a million not being immune can put the whole group at risk.
France is located in Europe near Spain. It has a deep and rich culture filled with art, literature, and delicious food. It’s a major tourist attraction with many people coming to visit the cities of Nice, and Paris for the Eiffel tower and culture. Cobblestone streets and delicious bread are incentives enough to bring millions of people in from all over the world to see the wonder that is France. It’s an incredibly lovely nation.
The French government does not enforce or have any compulsory vaccination laws. They don’t force their citizens to get vaccinations. However, it’s commonplace to do so in France. Schools there don’t require vaccines to get in — many schools in the EU don’t require vaccines to get in — but nonetheless, many people will get vaccinated. They have had some outbreaks of the measles, averaging about seventeen in a million people getting a case of the measles in a given year.
Germany is a landlocked country in Europe that has vast mountains, hilly landscapes, and an incredible culture. Many people are familiar with German beers and the tradition of Oktoberfest. Germany also has a rich culture in music and dance, as well as art. They are one of the countries that doesn’t have a compulsory vaccination policy. Their citizens are not required by law to get a vaccine if they choose not to or if they don’t think it’s right for their child.
However, Germany is unique in that they have stringent vaccine rules in their school programs. Not only do they have stringent vaccines rules in their school programs, but they also don’t let people homeschool. Having homeschool illegal, going to a school is the only choice. Therefore, people are required to get vaccinated, but not through a direct compulsory vaccination rule or enforcement from the central government.