Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mandatory Vaccinations

Yesterday, there was a discussion on Facebook about vaccinations vis-à-vis parental rights to withhold their children from this responsibility. Basically, I went against popular opinion (what else is new?) arguing that it shouldn't be left up to the parents' whims. I believe that society's welfare trumps parental rights in such matters. I was asked to elaborate, but did so via a private message. I thought it would be interesting material for a blog post. This is what I wrote.

I don't claim to be an expert, but from what I understand all of the good scientific information is pro vaccine. There seems to be no real question of that. The only reason people can consider opting out is due to herd immunity. Because there is so much widespread inoculation,  there is a certain herd immunity, and your kids may still be safe even if not vaccinated, but it's no guarantee.

It is science that has given us this safety net, and yet we question the science when it doesn't jive with our notions. If smallpox, for example, was still endemic, we would be crying out for science to intervene. It seems to me that those who choose to opt out are taking advantage of both past science and the current responsible parents of the rest of society.  This seems both ironic and somewhat selfish to me although I know that this is definitely not the intention.

I wish I had paid more attention to what disease I recently came across that is experiencing a bit of a resurgence due to people opting out. I am not going to research and fact check now, but I am not dreaming this.

As far as state vs parental rights, we allow intervention in many instances. If you don't want to give your kids a critical blood transfusion, the state will overrule. Don't you think that is right? If parents abuse or neglect their kids, the state can take them away. Don't you think that is right? The state can make sure that you are providing the proper education for your children, whether in home or in school. Don't you think that is right? I see mandatory vaccination in the same light.

... I don't think parents should have the right to put both their kids and society's children in harm's way. Kids only belong to us in the sense that we are responsible for their care and upbringing. They don't, however, belong to us as mere possessions to do with as we please when it runs counter to the best science available.


troutbirder said...

I agree completely. There are more than a few instances in this vein.

TexWisGirl said...

as a non-parent, i don't feel qualified to give an opinion, however, i have a friend who endured polio and lives with a leg brace because her mother didn't get her vaccinated. nuff said.

Country Gal said...

We all need to protect our children and the children have right to be safe against anything .

Donna said...

And we also need to protect our children from inoculations that can cause great harm. Here in Texas, the Gardasil vaccine is the perfect example...Perry was going to "mandate" it and later, after the huge uproar calmed down, decided parent's rights trumped mandates.
(he was running for election) Now they're finding out that teens vaccinated with it are coming down WITH cancer...not enough testing on the drug...It's all about the money! How about this one...I was watching TV the other night...a commercial comes on talking about a "Non-Traditional" (What???) type of work. A man is saying that he couldn't sleep...and until his doctor TOLD him he had Shift-Work Disorder, he would have never known!! The ad was produced by a ...wait for it...a Drug company!! My father worked shift work almost all of his adult life with No problems with least he never complained. I will Never just let the government tell me what to do about what goes into my or a loved one's body with out Careful analysis... It's a fine line we need to walk here.
Sorry Ac for the novella...

Gail Dixon said...

The vet world is having a similar discussion. Some wanting to vaccinate for rabies every 3 years and others once a year. I would like to know if there are preservatives or chemicals in these things that might be harming children.

Tabor said...

We cannot deny our biology. Smallpox is the killer that reared its ugly head. When I was a child I got vaccinated for polio and remember those few who got it before the vaccination was widely available. I contracted mumps, measles and chicken pox as a child and we do not see children suffering that way today! People who listen to celebrities advice over that of scientists are real deniers. Nope, science is not perfect and does make mistakes, but celebrities? Come on!

Gina said...

I just cannot with people who do not vaccinate their children.

Here in Orange County, California, we currently have the largest outbreak of measles in the state.

I blame it partly on people who are too willing to believe conspiracy theories, and people in my generation and below who have never seen the devastating effects of polio or smallpox.

Unfortunately, it will probably take maiming and deaths to wake people up. But it will be too late for some unfortunate children born to willfully ignorant parents.

KGMom said...

It is the absence of seeing the devastation of these once deadly childhood diseases that gives rise to the falsity of denying the efficacy of vaccines.
If parents hovered over the beds of their sick children struggling for breath and hacking through coughs, they wouldn't be so quick to say--I think I'll not have my child immunized.

Ginnie said...

Well, you've certainly opened the door for debate haven't you, AC?
I agree with Donna that testing of the drug (whatever it is for) is the critical element in this discussion. However I do think that parents often err on the side of caution. I work in the medical field and see so many examples of this our state alone we have about 6 cases af children who have died of the flu this year even though the vacinne is available to all ... even those who cannot pay.
(you see how craftily I have not given an opinioon !!)