Thursday, January 29, 2015


Political Mayhem Thursday: Vaccinations

Since a measles outbreak at Disneyland, a worthwhile national debate has begun about childhood vaccinations-- and what to do about those people who don't have their kids vaccinated.

Apparently, there has been a movement against vaccinations in some quarters, based on the belief that they cause other problems, like autism.  Those who make these claims often come off as a little crazy, and the great majority of doctors are true believers in the need to vaccinate children.

Apparently, there is a real risk of diseases like measles spreading if the anti-vaccination movement grows… even to children who were vaccinated.  That is because the vaccine doesn't work in some small percentage of cases, and if thousands are exposed, then some people were vaccinated (and a lot more who weren't) will catch a highly contagious disease like the measles.

So, here is the question:  Should the government do something?  If so, what?

I suggest a tax on those not vaccinated, to pay for the additional health care costs that result from not being vaccinated. I think the health insurance industry could readily ID those children not vaccinated who do not have a valid medical condition that mitigates against vaccination. Then charge a higher insurance cost on the parents of the voluntarily non-vaccinated children.

I believe it is child abuse to not vaccinate a child unless there is a medical reason not to vaccinate that particular child.
What!? The government infringing little typhoid Mary's right to roam vaccine free? I don't think so! Okay, on a serious not vaccinated should not be enrolled in public schools. Same for college matriculation, as adult onset of childhood diseases is more likely prone to severe complications.
Maybe we should start at the other end, improving science education so that people understand how vaccines work and how they're tested. Make it part of those mandatory health classes that kids take in middle and high school.
Unfortunately, stupid is not fixable. Ignorance is, but first you must have people who want to learn - see the preceeding statement.

They walk among us and reproduce, unfortunately for their children.

Our state mandates vaccinations and other prophylactic procedures for infants and children of specified ages, but grants exemptions for medical, religious, or philosophical/personal reasons. The religious and philosophical/personal exemptions leave a lot of room for abuse, but the likely victims of contagion will be those of like mind and practice, and their children, not those who have been inoculated.

Now that live virus flu shots have been supplanted by other, safer vaccines, I would like to see flu shots mandated for everyone regardless of age, subject, of course, to appropriate exemptions. Flu still carries off more people, I believe, than do so-called children diseases, at least in this country.

The legal profession could do us a service by finding a way around the First Amendment justification for granting religious exemptions. This would pave the way for elimination of the philosophical/personal exemption. The constitution protects us from the establishment of religion and protects su in the free exercise of religion. But the latter is not unfettered. But, subject too complicated by precedent to be dealt with here or in a blog.
I agree with Marta!
Anon 2…they have tried the mandatory flu shots at Columbia Univ. Medical Center where I work and they had to back out. Flu strains mutate and one shot fits all cannot be warranted as mandatory. I agree with you in that the likely victims of contagion are the unvaccinated children and not their inoculated classmates. The deterrent I suggested was meant to perhaps protect those kids from their anti-vaccine parents. Unless the said parents have the means to put them in special schools.

Marta...Yes to mandatory childhood disease shots for all, no exemptions, is the way to go. Need some way around the religious exemption, however.

I'll still get flu shots even though they may be hit or miss. And, as long as getting the shots is something the CDC recommends despite a minuscule risk, I'd go a step further and make them mandatory, provided there were no exemptions for anyone.

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