The hot topic recently is the vaccination issue. Should parents get their kids vaccinated? Should the government, on any level, enforce vaccinations?
I have a lot to say on both of these topics, but in order to be clear I want to answer both directly. Yes, parents should get their kids vaccinated. No, they should not be forced to do so.
Now let me discuss the topic.
The recent outbreak of measles demonstrates how vulnerable we are to diseases spreading in an unvaccinated population. Not just measles but a number of other, serious and highly contagious diseases, can be held at bay when people continue to stay vaccinated. The rationalization that your child will probably never encounter these diseases is unrealistic. The world is getting smaller.
If they never travel, they will be poorer for it, but not one bit safer because the whole world comes to the United States. Of course you can rely on the government to keep out anyone carrying a disease, I am sure they will just as effective as they are at every other task.
I understand the reasoning why some parents refuse these vaccinations. We have heard reports of things happening to kids after being vaccinated. As far as I know, the rate of those incidents is either very, very low or possibly totally fabricated.
The weakest part of this essay is the first five words of that last sentence – “as far as I know.” I believe the answer to the dilemma lies in better education and statistics. If it is true that all the claims against vaccination are false, demonstrate that, publicly. Instead of spending money on forming agencies to enforce mandatory behaviors in American families, spend money showing the reports to be false, or perhaps just how low the incidences are. I suspect it will cost less in the long run.
Oh I know, our government just spent a lot of energy passing laws to create a new Gestapo and giving them mandate to enforce a lot of healthcare issues. But don’t. Instead just make it clear to people what the positives and negatives are. And no I am not talking about an ad campaign that says, “Immunizations are safe!” I am talking about publishing all possible side effects and their rates, all rumored outcomes and their possible rates, and information on whether the rumors might be real. Allay parent’s fears by demonstrating the dangers of vaccination are less than those of not.
The people you are trying to reach out to will respond to data-good factual data. Right now we get sound bites, and depending on who we are listening to, they may be saying different things.
I suggest this approach, instead of releasing the hounds, because it stands on the side of freedom. I suggest it because I believe the family is a higher institution than the state, having been formed by God first. I also believe the cost of enforcement will be higher than anticipated.
One final word though, what I remember from my high school civics class is the government’s job is to take action to ‘protect public health, safety, welfare and morals.’ If vaccinations stay as low as they are today, we will see outbreaks of many serious diseases which will compel government intervention. I seriously doubt not vaccinating your child is a stand for freedom, and suspect it will create greater governmental intrusion.