Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?

A libertarian debate on immunization and government

SyringeZaldy Img Foter.com CC BYFew issues divide libertarians so emphatically as government-mandated vaccinations against communicable diseases, as reason discovered after including anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy in our "45 Enemies of Freedom" list (August/September 2013). That selection brought forth a deluge of mail, such as this succinct riposte from reader Christopher Kent: "Freedom doesn't get much more personal than the right of individuals to choose what is put into their bodies, and to accept or reject medical procedures."

But what happens when one person's individual choice leads to the otherwise preventable infection of another person who chooses differently? How do you assign property rights and responsibilities to an airborne virus? And how far can or should the state intrude into family decisions that affect the safety and health of children? The issue seems almost tailor-made to produce philosophical conflict among those who otherwise share a heightened skepticism of government power.

This is no mere debate-society chum. Over the last 15 years, spurred on by McCarthy and other high-profile advocates who claim that vaccinations may cause such damaging side effects as autism, more parents are opting out of vaccinations for highly contagious diseases for their children. A 2011 survey by the Associated Press reported that exemption levels in eight states now exceed 5 percent.

At the same time, incidence and morbidity of diseases such as whooping cough are back on the rise. reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey, who contributes to our forum below, has argued forcefully that the popularization of junk anti-vaccine science, and the resulting increase in opt-outs, has led to scores of needless deaths, thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of cases of preventable illnesses.

Yet neither vaccines nor the diseases they combat are 100 percent predictable or controllable. Pathogens adapt, hosts develop resistance, unforeseen consequences arise. As Jeffrey Singer, a general surgeon and longtime libertarian activist, points out below, "Not everyone who is vaccinated against a microbe develops immunity to that microbe. Conversely, some unvaccinated people never become infected."

That uncertainty does not stay the government's hand. Currently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia include at least some form of state-mandated vaccinations for young children who are entering school (including all public and most private institutions). The usual diseases targeted include the mumps, measles, rubella, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and varicella (chickenpox). Typically, parents can only opt out after demonstrating a philosophical or religious objection. One of the last official acts of the famously paternalistic former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who also made our "45 Enemies of Freedom" list) was to make flu shots mandatory for all children under 5 who are enrolled in city-licensed schools or daycare facilities. As clinical physician Sandy Reider makes clear below, government keeps expanding the list of mandatory vaccines. It now often includes diseases, such as hepatitis B, that rarely affect children.

So what is the proper role for government, and the citizenry, in the vaccination of children? The lines are hard to draw; all the more reason to have a reason debate. Below, Bailey, Singer, and Reider take the scalpel to each others' arguments, in the hope of bringing more practical and philosophical clarity to a divisive topic.

—Matt Welch

Refusing Vaccination Puts Others at Risk
Ronald Bailey

Millions of Americans believe it is perfectly all right to put other people at risk of death and misery. These people are your friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens who refuse to have themselves or their children vaccinated against preventable infectious diseases.

Aside from the issue of child neglect, there would be no argument against allowing people to refuse government-required vaccination if they and their families were the only ones who suffered the consequences of their foolhardiness. But that is not the case in the real world. Let's first take a look at how vaccines have improved health, then consider the role of the state in promoting immunization.

Vaccines are among the most effective health care innovations ever devised. A November 2013 New England Journal of Medicine article, drawing on the University of Pittsburgh's Project Tycho database of infectious disease statistics since 1888, concluded that vaccinations since 1924 have prevented 103 million cases of polio, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis A, diphtheria, and pertussis. They have played a substantial role in greatly reducing death and hospitalization rates, as well as the sheer unpleasantness of being hobbled by disease.

A 2007 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared the annual average number of cases and resulting deaths of various diseases before the advent of vaccines to those occurring in 2006. Before an effective diphtheria vaccine was developed in the 1930s, for example, the disease infected about 21,000 people in the United States each year, killing 1,800. By 2006 both numbers were zero. Polio, too, went from deadly (16,000 cases, 1,900 deaths) to non-existent after vaccines were rolled out in the 1950s and 1960s. Chickenpox used to infect 4 million kids a year, hospitalize 11,000, and kill 105; within a decade of a vaccine being rolled out in the mid-1990s, infections had dropped to 600,000, resulting in 1,276 hospitalizations and 19 deaths. Similar dramatic results can be found with whooping cough, measles, rubella, and more.

And deaths don't tell the whole story. In the case of rubella, which went from infecting 48,000 people and killing 17 per year, to infecting just 17 and killing zero, there were damaging pass-on effects that no longer exist. Some 2,160 infants born to mothers infected by others were afflicted with congenital rubella syndrome-causing deafness, cloudy corneas, damaged hearts, and stunted intellects-as late as 1965. In 2006 that number was one.

It is certainly true that much of the decline in infectious disease mortality has occurred as a result of improved sanitation and water chlorination. A 2004 study by the Harvard University economist David Cutler and the National Bureau of Economic Research economist Grant Miller estimated that the provision of clean water "was responsible for nearly half of the total mortality reduction in major cities, three-quarters of the infant mortality reduction, and nearly two-thirds of the child mortality reduction." Providing clean water and pasteurized milk resulted in a steep decline in deadly waterborne infectious diseases. Improved nutrition also reduced mortality rates, enabling infants, children, and adults to fight off diseases that would have more likely killed their malnourished ancestors. But it is a simple fact that vaccines are the most effective tool yet devised for preventing contagious airborne diseases.

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  • x4rqcks3f||

    Few issues divide libertarians from non-libertarians so emphatically as government-mandated vaccinations against communicable diseases

    FTFY

  • Overt||

    Here is the problem with Bailey's and John Thacker's position: You cannot force a person to interfere in natural processes on your behalf.

    The default condition of Humanity is death. If you don't eat, you die. If you do not get yourself food, you will not eat and you will die. Wolves can attack you and you will die. The sun's rays will dehydrate you and kill you, or burn you over and again until you get cancer and die.

    And pathogens abound in the air, water and-yes- even in our bodily fluids. This is the default human condition.

    You may not compel someone to spend their time, energy and pain to stop the natural spread of pathogens on your behalf any more than you can compel them to build a giant shield to block the sun's rays from alighting upon your hairless dome of a head.

    Nature is nature, and you have every right to use it and protect yourself from it up until the point where you force someone to do it for you.

  • Overt||

    NOTE: It is easy to draw a line at the point where a person knows they have contracted a disease and proceed to act in a manner that would likely infect others. Just like it would be easy to draw the line between someone declining to hunt and kill wolves to keep your family safe, and keeping wolves on their property then allowing them to get out and attack your family.

  • Free Society||

    You stated the case for freedom quite well.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If newborns want to roll the dice by getting vaccinated or by spurning vaccinations then they should assert their rights. Stop leeching off your parents' or the state's critical analysis of what's best, babies.

  • pspomer||

    Hilarious.

  • Fluffy||

    Here's the thing:

    Perversely and spitefully refusing vaccinations constitutes reckless endangerment to a much, much greater degree than, say, me driving at a BAC of .09.

    My evidence for this is that I have never hit anything driving at that BAC...but people DO get whooping cough and the measles.

    That means that the former "risk" is entirely theoretical, while the latter risk is actual.

  • sarcasmic||

    If some sober person ran a red light and smashed into your vehicle, killing the passenger, while you were driving with a .09, you would be 100% at fault. In fact, it is highly likely that the police report would have no mention of the running of the red light. None whatsoever.

    So your driving at .09 is indeed dangerous. Dangerous to yourself.

  • Brian D||

    Wouldn't the only people getting whooping cough and the measles be people who weren't vaccinated?

  • sarcasmic||

    Vaccines are not 100% effective.

  • Marshall Gill||

    And since they are not 100% effective, what is the moral difference between getting vaccinated and still getting the disease and passing it along and never getting vaccinated and passing it along? Intentions.

  • Super Hans||

    Aren't ehtics exclusively concerned with intentions?

  • Super Hans||

    *ethics*

  • WTF||

    No, because for some fraction people the vaccines don't provide immunity, so they rely on the majority of people having immunity to avoid the spread of the disease.

  • Brian D||

    Sucks for them, I guess.

  • GroundTruth||

    And that is one thing that we don't get in our society.

    Even with all the best of care and intent, sometimes life just sucks.

    Time for people to start growing up.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    And for a subset of people the vaccines can cause direct harm. Yet they are given short shrift by doctors and the medical community because it's an inconvenience to public health.

  • Another David||

    They're the ones who are relying on herd immunity.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Some fraction of the people aren't able to provide for themselves, so they rely on the majority of people to provide them with the necessities of life. That doesn't mean those needy have a claim on others or that government should mandate action for the benefit of that fraction.

    I'm not saying you are making the argument for government involvement here, but that argument doesn't work any better for me for vaccines than in does for anything else.

    An obvious distinction is that passively letting someone starve is not the same as affirmatively infecting that person. It's a pretty involved question, but it seems unwise to force society to organize itself around the random person who can't get immunity or who has a peanut allergy or whatever.

  • sarcasmic||

    A local high school has banned peanut products in all forms because of one unnamed student with a peanut allergy.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I would not be in favor of such a policy.

  • sarcasmic||

    You wouldn't have a choice.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Sure I would.

    The private school my daughters formerly attended banned peanut butter because of allergies. They banned class pets because of allergies.

    Now, my daughters attend a school that doesn't ban either of those things and that doesn't make excuses for why academic rigor declined. Additionally, the teacher is armed.

  • sarcasmic||

    Lucky you. The only options I have for private schools around here are a Baptist cult or a prep school where the tuition is roughly equal to my salary.

    Looks like the kid is going to the public screwel. Sucks.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    If the cult is otherwise acceptable, I'd go with the cult. It's much easier to unwind "God did it" than hundreds of sometimes hidden false premises.

    The ex-private school was based out of a church because it was feasible to pay, as opposed to the five-digit per student alternatives. The academics otherwise were far superior to the public schools around here and was pretty straightforward to say, "if you want to believe in God, believe in God, but that doesn't mean you can ignore science."

    I pulled them out of the school once it became clear that the new principal is utterly incompetent, but I still think it was money well spent up to that point.

  • sarcasmic||

    When I say cult I mean they fly the Baptist flag, but are otherwise loony, even by Christian standards. Also I don't believe the school is certified. Well, figuratively it's certified, but not literally.

  • Brian D||

    An obvious distinction is that passively letting someone starve is not the same as affirmatively infecting that person.

    I'd consider it a stretch to think that opting not to get vaccinated is tantamount to affirmatively infecting others.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Why do you think it is a stretch?

  • Brian D||

    Because I highly doubt anyone choosing to opt out has an intention of carrying diseases with the hope of infecting others, and, as has been shown, since vaccinations themselves are not 100% effective, it's possible for a vaccinated person to contract a disease from another vaccinated person.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "Affirmatively" is not a synonym for "intentionally."

  • John Thacker||

    Yes, but the vaccinated people went to the effort required to try to avoid it, so they weren't committing aggression.

    Whereas the people who choose to opt out and yet go around breathing, touching things, and coughing around me are knowingly committing an aggressive act.

  • See.More||

    Whereas the people who choose to opt out and yet go around breathing, touching things, and coughing around me are knowingly committing an aggressive act.

    Fist, unless you have also opted out, you are in no danger, are you?

    Second, that phrase, obviously, does not mean what you think it means. An "aggressive act[ion]" is the initiation of violence or violent coercion against another. Everything you described is "passive," going about my daily routine with no regard for you, much less intent to do anything to you.

  • Impudent Rapscallion||

    Whereas the people who choose to opt out and yet go around breathing, touching things, and coughing around me are knowingly committing an aggressive act.

    Preposterous. Using your logic I could say a baseball player is aggressive because he is swinging for a home run with full knowledge the ball could hit and injure someone.

    According to a completely biased website (JenniMccarthyBodyCount.com) there have been almost 130,000 cases of preventable illness due to people not vaccinating in the last 7 3/4 years. According to the (biased depending your view) CDC there were 95,760 flu related hospitalizations in just the week of March 9-15.

    There is no measure by which you can say failing to vaccinate has harmed more people than influenza. If you assume a unrealistically low average of just 10,000 flu related hospitalizations per week over the same 7 3/4 year time frame you are looking at more than 4 million cases.

    Explain to me why you aren't screaming bloody murder over the fact that we don't require flu shots every year. Take your faux concern, stuff it in your womb, and give birth to it elsewhere.

  • Reverend Draco||

    What about the vaccinated, who go around shedding viruses for 6 weeks after vaccination?
    Using your "logic" - and I use the word laughingly - vaccinated people are premeditatedly going around spreading disease - a much more aggressive act than unknowingly doing so.

  • John Thacker||

    It's a pretty involved question, but it seems unwise to force society to organize itself around the random person who can't get immunity

    Or all the infants who are too young to get the associated vaccine safely?

    It really depends on exactly what we're trying to force people to do; what behavior you're trying to modify.

    The claim with peanut allergies that merely being around them or touching them (absent perhaps a large scale industrial peanut processing plant) can cause severe reactions is untrue. Diets can be avoided, and allergies can be treated.

    By contrast, many of the vaccinated diseases are spread through extremely casual contact or through air. The effort required to avoid that (as opposed to, say, avoiding sexual contact with someone not vaccinated for HPV) is immense. (Especially since people don't even wear masks when they're sick in the US, unlike in Asia.)

  • ||

    Too busy and important to RTFA, Brian?

  • Brian D||

    No, the question was meant to be rhetorical. Vaccines aren't 100% effective, but we must mandate them anyhow? Ridiculous.

  • perlhaqr||

    Or had not been fully vaccinated yet. Many of the childhood immunity vaccinations are series forms, given over the course of the first six years.

    DTaP for instance, (Diptheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis), is given first at 2 months, then at 4 months, 6 months, 15 months, and 48 months.

    So if you've got some 4 year old anti-vaxxer's kid at daycare / preschool / whatever with a 3 year old who has been getting his shots at the recommended time, and the anti-vaxxer kid comes down with pertussis, he's a risk to all of the kids who haven't completed their DTaP immunization series yet.

    Which, y'know, I'm certainly not going to force the parents to vaccinate their kid. I am willing to hold them responsible for turning their kid into a plague vector, though.

  • Reverend Draco||

    Right - because 4 vaccinations (at ages too young to cause an immune reaction) is insufficient to protect a child - but somehow, that magic 5th vaccination gives them instant immunity.

    Your argument is invalid because ignorance.

  • ||

    Fluffy - your argument here is a jumbled, nonsensical mess.

  • UnCivilServant||

    This is one of the issues where I'm glad I'm not a libertarian. Herd immunity only works when a sufficient proportion of the population is vaccinated. If you want to oppose vaccination of scientific grounds - use real science, not these junk scares that are actually counterfactual. You can discuss pathogen mutation, immune response and allergic reaction, you know, things that actually have something to do with the issue at hand (and why the flu shot is a crapshoot at best).

    For those of you who don't want to vaccinate your whelps, we're going to have to quarantine you. It's the best alternative.

  • sarcasmic||

    If you had read the article and had any knowledge whatsoever, then you would know that being libertarian does not require that one opposes mandatory vaccinations. In fact, there is much debate among libertarians on the subject. I mean, the title of the fucking piece said as much you fucking idiot. Holy shit you're an ignorant piece of shit. Willfully ignorant. Fucking fuckity fuck.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Or it's a case of "I don't have to justify my opinion within the context of a libertarian principle". I know the article is about your internal debate. I don't have that problem and was stating my position on the matter.

    Have you checked your blood pressure lately, you seem a bit high-strung today.

  • sarcasmic||

    You were making an argument against a position of opposing vaccinations, dipshit. Try actually reading something before commenting on it.

  • UnCivilServant||

    The only thing in the article I cared about commenting on was the idiocy of Jenny (which was only a minor element, I admit). While I went off on a tangent from the article, comments sections here have always been notoriously off-topic. Being on a tagent is hardly grounds for you screeching like a troll.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm the troll? Haaaaaaa ha ha ha ha! Moron.

  • UnCivilServant||

    Something set you off this morning, and it wasn't my comment. Also, take a look at your behaviour. You're certainly more spoiling for a pointless argument on the internet than I am. Perhaps you should calm down, take a few breaths and ask yourself why you're spewing insults and responding to elements not in the posts. Or you could perhaps walk away until you've regained your composure. This can't be healthy for you.

  • sarcasmic||

    Your concern is noted, troll.

  • Libertopian||

    Yes, being libertarian does require that one opposes mandatory vaccination. This article is basically just a sophisticated way of the authors wrestling with the fact that they're not libertarians.

  • sarcasmic||

    Another thing. Not requiring vaccinations does not mean no one will get them. Opposing mandatory vaccinations does not equate to opposing voluntary vaccinations. Fucking shit you're stupid.

  • UnCivilServant||

    And you're adding things not in my comment.

  • jack smit||

    Her Immunity is a myth that was taken out of science text books years ago.

  • jack smit||

    *Herd

  • Another Phil||

    No, it's not.

  • Rich||

    But what happens when one person's individual choice leads to the otherwise preventable infection of another person who chooses differently?

    But what happens when one person's individual choice *to own a gun* leads to the otherwise preventable wounding or death of another person who chooses differently?

  • wareagle||

    vaccinations are the equivalent of guns now? Shots are a requirement for attending public schools. I hear other educational options are available.

    My kids have a reasonable expectation to not being exposed to diseases that are easily preventable. I'm not a fan of speeding laws, either, but they exist largely so one out of control driver does not endanger everyone else.

  • Rich||

    vaccinations are the equivalent of guns now? Shots are a requirement for attending public schools.

    "Shots", eh?

  • John Thacker||

    And not only easily prevented, but easily spread through extremely common behaviors.

    It's a greater tyranny to prevent people from shaking hands, coughing, breathing the same air. I'm relaxed about not mandating vaccinations for sexual spread diseases, and even those that require direct blood contamination. But some of them are spread far too easily, and I'm not willing to police that sort of casual contact in an effort to avoid mandating the vaccinations.

  • Free Society||

    Shots are a requirement for attending public schools. I hear other educational options are available.

    Is that what you heard? The public education cartel forces competitors out of business or prevents their existence, and the only real alternative is lose half my household income to homeschool my child. But yeah, totally voluntary, lots of options out there.

    Take your false dichotomy, put it back in the box and try some other fallacy to justify your slaver attitude.

  • BigT||

    The state should give you the funds they allocate to educate your child to spend as you wish.

  • Free Society||

    The state should not steal my wealth to begin with. I tend to think that allocating my own resources is both more efficient and moral than to have a disinterested kleptocrat doing it for me.

  • Libertopian||

    Your expectations from people whom you have no business telling what to do are irrelevant and far from reasonable. No matter how 'progressive' you think you are.

  • Andy Cutler||

    And what happens when a beautiful woman's right to say "no" utterly traumatizes some psychopath who follows her around drooling?

    That's not really any different than the vaccine argument. It doesn't matter whether someone's motivations to do something against someone else's will is hidden behind a veil of education and authority, or unmasked as roiling emotion. What matters is the other person has the right not to be a victim of aggression - they have a right to consent, or say no.

  • ||

    "Expands the list of vaccinations"

    That's the one sentence in a long article with good arguments on both sides that leaves me to worry.

    I lean more towards not making it mandatory as there already are strong incentives and regulations in place. The rest is up to education and personal decisions I reckon. I own a daycare and have cases where parents don't vaccinate and everyone debates amongst themselves if this is right or not. They tend to see the child as non-vaccinated as the one that poses the greater risk to others. They don't necessarily accept the "herd" is actually safer. There's sort of a "come on, get real, get vaccinated" at play. In a similar vein, we have a vegan parent who is extremely committed to the diet for her child and that angers the educators as well.

    Guess what? We can't say anything on any level since it's the wishes and rights of the parent to raise their kids as they see fit. We have our opinion but we have no right to suggest a parent vaccinate their child for the 'greater good.'

    I have no choice but to cut the bike in half.

  • wareagle||

    since you own the daycare, you are free to make vaccines a pre-condition for service. Or not. And parents are free to react accordingly.

  • Christophe||

    Bingo. Private ownership removes the need for coercive measures.

    And because private actors in the marketplace are more responsive, their policies will be a more accurate reflection of what actually matters (as opposed to mandatory tetanus/HepB vaccinations in public schools).

  • BigT||

    "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."

    So ban alcohol, guns, cars, bicycles, knives, doctors, etc

    Old BS is still BS.

    The possible harm must be imminent and unavoidable.

  • Harvard||

    Like tuberculosis, conquered primarily with forced sanatorium treatment, or AIDS which probably would have been conquered/abated with exactly the same typed of early forced
    isolation/treatment?

  • BigT||

    Ends, means, justification. Hmmmm....

    Polio was handled better. Remember Sabin oral Sundays? Voluntary and effective.

  • BigT||

    Vaccines should not be mandated. But schools, daycare centers, hospitals, grocery stores, etc are free to require them for admission or even entry to their grounds.

  • Brian D||

    Agreed.

  • Rich||

    "Freedom of religion" in 3, 2, 1, ….

  • Rich||

    Another aspect: Vaccines Certificates of citizenship should not be mandated. But schools, daycare centers, hospitals, grocery stores, etc are free to require them for admission or even entry to their grounds.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Although I forget the particular Supreme Court case, public schools are already mandated not to inquire as to the immigration/citizenship status of their students.

  • Rich||

    Oh, what a tangled web!

  • ||

    I agree but I don't believe we're permitted to. It can even cross into discriminatory action.

    Not sure, I'm actually putting a call in now to find out.

  • sarcasmic||

    Aren't people and businesses free to discriminate against anyone who is not a member of a protected class? Last I checked, unvaccinated persons were not on the protected class list.

  • ||

    People and businesses *should* be free to discriminate against anyone for any reason at any time. Title 2 of CRA 1968 is unconstitutional and should be repealed.

  • wareagle||

    stop. You will give them ideas. In the end, we'll ALL be part of some protected class.

  • sarcasmic||

    In the end, we'll ALL be part of some protected class.

    No way. The progressive mentality thrives on discrimination. Discrimination against smokers, fatties, deniers, people with incorrect ideas. They love to discriminate, as long as they choose they get to shun.

  • ||

    But Sarc...because...democracy!

  • ||

    Yes you would think that (bakery cakes for gays anyone?) but daycare is heavily regulated and politicized here so it may be different from the cases in the ROC and U.S.

    That's what I'm wondering. I bet when I call the bureaucrat attached to my file they won't have an answer - as it mostly the case and then the inspector will interpret the law still differently.

    As far as I know, I can refuse but I have to make sure.

  • ||

    Just confirmed: We can refuse. But the government highly recommends it.

    Turns out my sister is reviewing this part of the business.

    4 out of 60 kids are not vaccinated at my place. However, if there's, for example, a measles outbreak the kids have to leave. Which is pretty standard.

  • Free Society||

    Vaccines should not be mandated. But schools, daycare centers, hospitals, grocery stores, etc are free to require them for admission or even entry to their grounds.

    Except that in the case of schools they've got a virtual monopoly in most areas. Public schools shouldn't be "free to do" anything considering all the coercion that goes into their existence.

  • BigT||

    Parents should also be free to take their child's portion of the school funding elsewhere. Problem solved.

  • Robert||

    So coercion has gone into the existence of gov't schools. Putting their freedom to choose something into the hands of someone else doesn't erase that coercion. Same thing for the roads; somebody has to decide whether you drive them on the left or right, and details of their maintenance; so why shouldn't it be somebody familiar with the particulars of their operation & circumstances?

  • Free Society||

    Freedom is a thing that discusses relationships between people. The freedom to coercive make decisions for other people is not a species of freedom. Awarding such 'freedom' to political institutions is a species of tyranny.

    somebody has to decide whether you drive them on the left or right, and details of their maintenance; so why shouldn't it be somebody familiar with the particulars of their operation & circumstances?

    Yeah, like people who can deliver such goods and services without needing a gun to do it. Seems pretty reasonable. There's no rational argument in existence that justifies various state monopolies on the grounds that they're the best suited to deliver said products. If they were best suited, they wouldn't need government force to do it.

  • Libertopian||

    Except for public schools since we're forced to pay for them with taxes. But public schools should be done away with anyway, that would solve the problem. Then private schools can have whatever vaccination policy they want. Private institutions who wish to expand their special needs programs for example may benefit from the brain inflammation that vaccines seem to cause for a large amount of young males (joke).

  • AlmightyJB||

    Ho do the non-vaccinated pose a threat to the vaccinated?

  • sarcasmic||

    That's already been discussed further up in the comments.

  • AlmightyJB||

    sorry, I'm android impaired. which reminds me of my first connection to the internet over a landline.

  • AlmightyJB||

    that's only for this site though.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That was a lot of words to state "I approve of using the threat of deadly force by agents of the state for my sacred cow", Bailey.

    Honestly, do we really want to see a world where a Randy Weaver-type, no matter how loony, has his house surrounded by DHHS special police and the FBI for not vaccinating his kids, only to allow Lon Horiuchi to vaccinate them for him, with a high-speed injection of hot lead to the brainpan?

  • wareagle||

    public schools use vaccinations as an admission ticket of sorts. You are free to school your kids elsewhere. Seems this article purposely created a loaded article by including "mandatory."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    public schools use vaccinations as an admission ticket of sorts

    And universities, both public and private, do as well. As someone who teaches international university students, part of my responsibilities is making sure they get their 2nd MMR shot once they get on campus. The policy is that I'm not allowed to let them enter my classroom until they get the shot. My Asian students tend not to have a problem with this, but more than a few of my Middle Eastern students have balked and have tried to drag out the process as long as possible.

  • SugarFree||

    Because Jonas Salk was Jewish?

  • Rich||

    Jew get vaccinated yet?

    /Woody Allen

  • SugarFree||

    Settle down, Max.

  • Rich||

    8-)

  • ||

    Fact: Asians easy to deal with. Middle-Easterns major pains in the asses.

  • Free Society||

    public schools use vaccinations as an admission ticket of sorts. You are free to school your kids elsewhere. Seems this article purposely created a loaded article by including "mandatory."

    Total bullshit. Public education is not something that exists by popular demand or even supply and demand. It exists by fiat and it stifles the education market. Stop ignoring that fact.

  • ||

    FS, some would counter it is by popular demand because they voted for it.

    Just playing devil's advocate.

  • Robert||

    No, public ed does exist by popular demand. It's an extremely popular policy, worldwide. Of all the things gov't does, school operation is among the most highly supported. You have a much greater chance of success vs. mandatory vaccination than vs. mandatory schooling.

  • Free Society||

    Of all the things government does in people's daily lives, the most contentious and visible failure is their operation of public schools. If it were popular demand, they wouldn't need force to do it. If it was simply popular demand there wouldn't be a litany of federal, state and local laws designed to prevent the existence of private schools or laws to prevent public schools from having to compete or be accountable. The Ipad exists by popular demand, automobiles are bought and sold because of their popular demand. The popular demand for education is met with fiat, which is to say, it's not really met at all. Votes that seek to legitimize that fiat is not 'popular demand', it's political demand.

  • Libertopian||

    You're not really free to school your kids elsewhere since you're forced to pay for the public school with taxes. Which makes private schools prohibitively expensive for a lot of people. Of course it's fun to talk about being free to do stuff disingenuously when you know that it isn't really true. Being in control is fun.

  • waffles||

    Vaccines should not be mandatory. However, they should be cheap and widely available with lots and lots of social pressure to vaccinate your children. That's a compromise I can live with.

  • Rich||

    Continuing the analogy ...

    Vaccines Guns should not be mandatory. However, they should be cheap and widely available with lots and lots of social pressure to vaccinate protect your children. That's a compromise I can live with.

  • waffles||

    I'm okay with that too.

  • ||

    However, they should be cheap and widely available with lots and lots of social pressure to vaccinate your children. That's a compromise I can live with.

    I would let the market decide the price. Well-vetted vaccines against common and/or crippling or acutely lethal illnesses should, sorta inherently, be cheap. $50 per tetanus shot is pretty reasonable, but if people had to pay $5000 per cc for the anthrax 'vaccine', I'd be okay with that (as long as it wasn't taxed to $5000). Much like I would expect luxury armament against niche threats like a phalanx battery or tomahawk missiles to cost $$$.

    People could get the guardasil or flu vaccine and probably pretty cheaply, but like a Colt .25, why would anybody want one?

  • Free Society||

    Like it is now? No need to compromise.

  • ||

    Like it is now? No need to compromise.

    Sorta, there are creepy edges that stand in the way of my 'vaccine utopia'. The description above listed 'widely available with lots of social pressure', I think how 'widely available' is achieved and how social pressure is exerted is as important or more so than the vaccine.

    IMO, California pressuring Nevada to subsidize vaccines for a disease fits the description of making it 'widely available with lots of social pressure' but is usurping the free market and moving against liberty. Esp. if the disease is prevalent in urban areas, of which California has many and Nevada has few.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "But what happens when one person's individual choice leads to the otherwise preventable infection of another person who chooses differently?"

    What happens when taking a vaccine puts one at risk of death? My godson spent a week in an induced coma at death's door because of a bad reaction to an oral flu vaccine. I'm not against vaccination because of that family experience but I am against the idea that a person or their guardians cannot be allowed to evaluate the risks for themselves.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    This.

    My son (and probably my daughters) cannot excrete metals from his system due to a genetic defect closely associated with Aspergers. It took us years to figure out he had aluminum poisoning from his vaccinations.

    (Note: They replaced thimerosal with aluminum in children's vaccines.)

    Add to that, the vaccination schedule is overly aggressive and includes completely unnecessary vaccines for things like chickenpox.

  • Libertopian||

    But if you're a cool, smart, progressive left-libertarian like the authors of this article, the experience your godson had as a result of vaccination didn't exist.

  • An Innocent Man||

    Once you set the pit bull loose in the playground, you don't get to choose which child it mauls. Others have said it, but I'm saying it again. Once you deem it OK for government to have the power to mandate "A" for the childrens, don't come bawling to me when they start mandating "B" for the childrens.

  • ||

    I agree, just as with Mullatto and the use of force above;

    'Not even once.'

  • Robert||

    No, the dog analogy is a bad one. Someone's making public policy choice A is not going to force someone else later to make policy choice B, and someone's making policy choice ~A isn't going to force someone else to make choice ~B. Usually if choice A is followed by choice B, it's because it's the same people making both choices, usually for the same reasons. People don't follow precedents.

  • Ballz||

    bullshit

  • ||

    People don't follow precedents.

    Except all the times that the cite case law and legal precedent, then they do.

    Even when they don't explicitly cite precedent, generalizations occur.

    Then there's stuff like habit and tradition too.

  • Robert||

    Only lawyers cite precedent. Most people, if anything, think you should go against precedents, to even things out. Like, it was this way for a while, now it'll be that way, so the other side gets even.

  • ||

    Only lawyers cite precedent. Most people, if anything, think you should go against precedents, to even things out.

    Bullshit. Tradition is almost universally heralded in this country and around the world. Not to say that tradition isn't ever overturned, but "because that's how the person before me did it and the person before them..." or simply "that's just how it's done" has been and is used to justify loads of behaviors from the simply inane to the hazardous or immoral.

    Lemme guess, Robert, you got your real first and last name out of a hat rather than a more traditional manner in which names are chosen, right? Got your username from a program generating random strings of characters, right?

    People like to control niches and feel like they've selected blends of ideas that make them unique, but the overwhelming majority of their decisions are based on cultural and habitual convenience. Societies cannot function otherwise.

  • Batgirl||

    Vaccines are one of those very rare instances where the public health does outweigh the individual's rights. The same is true of quarantines. Years ago I was diagnosed in the ER with meningitis. I was immediately put in isolation. Nobody asked my consent. Nobody needed to. I was a threat to the public health and the County ordered me under quarantine for 48 hours. The same is true of vaccines.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Having a deadly and communicable disease is a bit different than being at risk at having a deadly communicable disease.

    Should people who cannot take or vaccines are ineffective on be quarantined away from the rest of the population?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Bad analogy. When you have meningitis, you are actively contagious. When you don't receive a vaccine, there is the potential for contagion.

    It's more similar to taking away a driver's license because the person had a seizure.

  • John Thacker||

    When you don't receive a vaccine, there is the potential for contagion.

    There's no exemption to the NAP if you fire a revolver loaded with one bullet in the chamber at somebody, merely because there's only a percentage chance that you'll hurt them. Where would you like to draw the line of a chance of infecting somebody?

  • John Thacker||

    When you don't receive a vaccine, there is the potential for contagion.

    When you drive drunk, there is a potential for an accident. The rates of getting in one increase, depending on how much you drink. Simply because an accident's not guaranteed doesn't mean that I and other libertarians don't view driving while intoxicated as a form of aggression.

    I'm not willing to throw out the concept of reckless endangerment as a form of aggression.

  • John Thacker||

    OTOH, driving an automobile at all imposes some risk on other people. I think that libertarians, and anyone else, search in vain for a bright line principle on when imposing risk on others becomes "too much."

  • Free Society||

    Biological agents doing what they do is not the same as a person who willingly and mindfully does actions X, Y or Z.

  • ||

    I'm not willing to throw out the concept of reckless endangerment as a form of aggression.

    So, murder = manslaughter, mens rea be damned in your book, right?

    I think that libertarians, and anyone else, search in vain for a bright line principle on when imposing risk on others becomes "too much."

    The bright line is pretty obvious, you just aren't considering it or are denying it's existence. I don't get in a car to put others at risk. Much like I don't/didn't/won't get vaccinated for chickenpox (or shingles at this point) to put other people at risk for catching the disease. Just like with HIV where my simply contracting it and passing it on to someone else is insufficient evidence to convict me of having caused their death. Or leaving a bear trap under the welcome mat on my front porch doesn't automatically make me a perpetrator of aggravated assault.

    Passively avoiding/resisting vaccination is so conceptually divorced from actively avoiding it and actively contracting a disease and actively passing a disease on to someone is so conceptually divorced from actively loading a gun and actively pointing it at someone that I wonder about your mental state for equating the two. If you insist that your mental state is intact, I can only conclude that you're being actively disingenuous or fraudulent. Much like you would have to be to knowingly pass a disease to someone who was trying to avoid it.

  • PitholeHermit||

    Actually it is a good analogy. Not saying I agree, but you don't have to be actively contagious to be quarantined. If you have even just been exposed or suspected of exposure, many times you can be quarantined.

  • Libertopian||

    If 'public health' trumps self-ownership and the non-aggression principle in one regard, then it trumps them in all of them. If you're for mandatory vaccination but not for a fully Marxist society with collective state ownership of all property you're a hypocrite.

  • ||

    Even if all vaccines were 100% risk free and 100% effective, a libertarian should not advocate the force required to make them mandatory. NAP FTW.

  • John Thacker||

    So long as unvaccinated people avoid committing the violence of breathing near me with a chance of being infected.

    If you're going to go Non Aggression Principle, then you have to go all the way.

    Some diseases are spread through sexual contact, or direct blood contact. Those are at least rare enough behaviors that it's possible for the unvaccinated to avoid committing aggression. But if it's spread through coughing or skin contact, then the NAP absolutely demands that you avoid touching me, avoid coughing or breathing near me, and avoid touching anything I own or other vaccinated people own.

  • See.More||

    So long as unvaccinated people avoid committing the violence of breathing near me with a chance of being infected. . .

    Seriously? "breathing near [you]" is violence?

    Hint: If unvaccinated people breathing near you are committing violence then everyone breathing near you is committing violence.

  • See.More||

    And... what about the vaccinated people that have an immunity, but still carry/transfer germs?

    Hint: Immunity (through vaccination or otherwise) does not kill germs on the skin that can be transmitted through touch or germs in the air (in the lungs) that are further transmitted through breathing, coughing, sneezing, etc.

  • See.More||

    But, if you have been immunized, you have nothing to worry about, right? I, having eschewed vaccines, therefore, am no threat to you.

  • Free Society||

    That's nice logical inconsistency you got there. You want to use the NAP as the reasoning behind using the state to force politically favored medicines into other people's body? You don't know the meaning of liberty if you think that's the essence of non-aggression.

  • Libertopian||

    "So long as unvaccinated people avoid committing the violence of breathing near me with a chance of being infected."

    It's only violence if it's done on your property without your consent. If you're that paranoid about it, don't go to any public places that don't have an explicit policy of unvaccinated people not being allowed on the premises.

  • Robert||

    Correct. Instead the libertarian should hire someone else to do the advocacy.

  • mlcorcoran||

    The philosophical implications for personal freedom regarding vaccinations is an interesting one, but all participants of this debate neglected a major element of the issue at hand: WHY are more people saying no to vaccination? WHY are advocates like Ms. McCarthy pushing for more people to opt-out?

    The increase in opt-outs to vaccination is being sparked by the noticably sharp increase in reported cases of Autism in children, and Dementia in the elderly. Though the science is not yet conclusive, there is speculation, both within the medical community and the general public at large, that the chemical additives and preservatives used in vaccines can increase the risk of mental illness and cognitive development issues.

    A vaccine shot is more than just the strain of the disease itself. It is a cocktail of chemicals, additives and preservatives, and the list of those ingredients is rarely ever disclosed in full to the recipient of the shot (or their parents in the case of children). Furthermore, there are numerous vendors who supply vaccines, each with their own varied permutations and combinations of recipies that go into these injections. One of the more controversial variations is whether or not the vaccine contains an egg-based additive.

    This debate on Vaccination vs Opt-Out completely neglected the arugment posed by the Opt-Outs: that vaccination may carry long-term health risks of its own.

  • ||

    The increase in opt-outs to vaccination is being sparked by the noticably sharp increase in reported cases of Autism in children, and Dementia in the elderly. Though the science is not yet conclusive, there is speculation, both within the medical community and the general public at large, that the chemical additives and preservatives used in vaccines can increase the risk of mental illness and cognitive development issues

    The long term health risks posed for vaccination are spurious (like specific chelation issues mentioned above) and tenuously proven at best. One could easily consider them generally debunked. Further, questions like "WHY are advocates like Ms. McCarthy pushing for more people to opt-out?" can be equally addressed by "Why aren't advocates like Ms. McCarthy pushing people to opt-out of the use of ritalin and zoloft peri-pregnancy and during early childhood?" as the latter has a far more compelling association with detrimental development.

    The argument(s) posed in the article are more philosophical and meant to rise above a particular advocate, ingredient, or adverse outcome. From a 'fundamentalist libertarian' perspective, I don't care if you are dead wrong in thinking that there is a 100% probability that the chickenpox vaccine gives everyone who gets it Alzheimers, it's your right to choose (IMO, because 1st Am.).

  • mlcorcoran||

    The use of ritalin and zoloft peri-pregnancy and in early childhood may have a more compelling link to issues with cognitive development, however neither drug is mandated as a matter of public health policy. They are prescribed medications, and one would presume that a responsible physician would conduct a thorough screening of the patient's risks for contra-indications or adverse drug reactions before prescribing a drug treatment.

    The alleged correlation between vaccinations and mental health risks have not yet been conclusively proven or disproven. There are skeptics and alarmists on both sides. I do not consider it "generally debunked" so long as the jury is still out.

    While I understand that the arguments in the article are intended to be a broad philosophical debate, I maintain my objection to the article's omissions. The motives behind the pro-Vaccine argument (public health, hospitalization rates, and mortality rates) were clearly stated. The motives behind the anti-Vaccine argument (side effects and health risks) were not.

    I would argue that the anti-Vaccine camp is not arguing against the immunization of communicable disease; rather, they are arguing against vaccine injections that contain chemical additives that may pose health risks of their own. If vaccine suppliers offered greater transparency into the ingredients of their injections, or if more conclusive evidence was found to disprove the alleged correlation, then I think that would satisfy vaccine skeptics.

  • ||

    There are skeptics and alarmists on both sides. I do not consider it "generally debunked" so long as the jury is still out.

    Twelve (angry) independent reproductions of the original study published in the Lancet found unanimously against it and prior to the completion of the other studies, the Lancet redacted the original paper.

    You could say the jury was unanimous and the case has been dropped.

    If vaccine suppliers offered greater transparency into the ingredients of their injections, or if more conclusive evidence was found to disprove the alleged correlation, then I think that would satisfy vaccine skeptics.

    There are anti-vacciners (for diseases like chicken pox, HPV, and the flu, I'm among them) that do argue against immunization itself. More relevantly, as I said early transparency in adjuvants is a chemical/medical argument, not a libertarian one.

    There will always be new/different untested adjuvants for which the risk to an individual or individuals at large is and always will be unknown. Telling someone that thimerosal or GMO egg protein is in their vaccine is irrelevant if they're unable to refuse it's administration. The same is true for the intended purpose of the vaccine being administered.

  • ||

    http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26750786

    More evidence that autism;

    A) Has a strong genetic component.
    B) Begins at/before birth.

    Again, not a smoking gun that (more) vaccines don't exacerbate autism but rather distinct proof that vaccines DO NOT CAUSE autism.

    But, as was the theme of the article, regardless of whether vaccines cause autism (or other diseases) or not, people should always have the option of refusing.

  • Robert||

    More people are saying no because vaccines are being offered, even pushed, in more marginal situations than before.

    Do you want a gun? Sure.

    Do you want a submachine gun? Uh, yeah, I guess...can't be too careful.

    Do you want a bazooka? Well, I don't know...[thinking about Bagge's didn't-know-it-was-loaded cover]

    Aw, c'm'on, how about a flamethrower?

  • DMXRoid||

    1.) Not vaccinating your child is equivalent to child abuse. No, I wouldn't use the power of the state to force you to not abuse your shitty kids if you really want to, but don't lie to yourself or anyone else about what it is you're doing. It's not about freedom or parental choice. You're not giving your kids important medical treatment because a stripper who pumped out a retard and a discredited, disbarred, and completely disproved doctor tell you not to. It's a status symbol, a way to make you feel edgier-than-thou. That's why you're putting your kid, and everyone else's, at risk. This doesn't bother me too much because I'm not a breeder and am vaccinated, so I'm not going to catch something, but it should bother people who claim to give a shit about children.

    2.) This cannot be said enough: There is no scientific basis, at all, that establishes a causal relationship between vaccination, using any methodology, formula, or medium, and any cognitive or developmental disorders. None. Jenny McCarthy repeating a lie doesn't make it true, as convincing as those tits can be. I understand that people want a reason other than their own shitty genes and prenatal environment for why their kids are broken, but sorry, it doens't work that way. You don't "become" autistic after getting pumped full of aluminum, and the amount of mercury in vaccines is less than you'd get in a can of tuna. Stop sounding like creationists, you're making the rest of us look bad.

  • Mark22||

    Child abuse is beating your child. Letting your child take risks that someone else deems higher than necessary is not child abuse. And with not getting vaccinated, we really talk about very small increases in risk from not getting vaccinated.

    And although most vaccines are safe and effective, there may be good reasons for individuals to refuse vaccines even against prevailing medical opinion.

    Freedom means that people can make decisions that may be bad for themselves, and possibly impose small additional risks on others.

    Your appeal over creationism is symbolic. Yes, creationism is clearly false. Nevertheless, in a free society, people should have a right to believe in creationism, to teach it to their children, and to choose schools that teach creationism.

  • DMXRoid||

    First off, I already said that I wouldn't force people to not be child abusers, so that arg's a non-starter.

    Secondly, that's a very limited definition of child abuse that I don't think you would stick to if pressed. For example, I assume that you would also consider emotional abuse to be "child abuse", yes? Then what's the problem with also including withholding necessary medical treatment? This is no different than busting on the Christian Scientists for hoping that their wacky sky ghost will magically heal their kid's cancer. Oh, sure, all they're doing is taking the RISK that their kid dies from a disease that's treatable in the part of the world that's down with science. They're not actually KILLING the kid. No, they're killing the kid, and that's child abuse.

    Have you SEEN what mumps do to people? It's fucking horrific. If you have an opportunity to reduce the risk that that happens to your kid, and you don't, because a Playboy model well past her sell date told you to, you're an asshole and a child abuser.

  • Mark22||

    I think vaccines are generally very good and effective (though not every single vaccine may be). However, I find the case for "herd immunity" to be weak. It is true that there is a small number of people who can't get vaccinated for some reason and therefore may be particularly vulnerable to a disease. But the argument that vaccination should be mandatory to help such people is similar to arguments that we should child-proof our entire society, something I don't think is reasonable either. Uncomfortable as it is, relative isolation is reasonably effective for individuals who are susceptible to diseases; most of such people are going to be susceptible to a range of diseases anyway, many of which we can't vaccinate against.

    There may well be vaccines in the future that I have good reason to refuse, even if the government thinks they should be mandatory. I want to reserve that right. For example, the TB vaccine used in Europe is not used in the US because it complicates diagnostics in adulthood and has only limited benefits in childhood.

    On the other hand, there may be specific vaccinations for which the case is so compelling that mandating them is reasonable. Perhaps smallpox or polio fell into that category. But if we are having the debate, we should be treating such cases as exceptional. The rule should be that the rights of the individual to control their own body trumps any "herd immunity" or convenience of other individuals.

  • John Thacker||

    It is true that there is a small number of people who can't get vaccinated for some reason

    Aside from that, and people who are too young, there are also simply times when you get a vaccination and you don't develop full immunity. And it's not necessarily a case of "people [who] are going to be susceptible to a range of diseases anyway," either; someone can easily develop immunity to 6 diseases for which they are vaccinated, and not a 7th. And some vaccinations have effects which fade over time, which is why there are booster shots; but even if you get the recommended schedule (or even faster), any given person might not have immunity simply because of random chance.

    It's very misleading to paint the picture as just "some people can't get vaccinated." While there are some people like that, it's also that vaccines aren't 100% effective in *any* population, and it's not predictable who will and won't develop immunity.

    People feel that they have a right to breathe the same air as me; therefore, I think that they should get vaccinated against diseases spread that way. Since they don't feel that they have a right to have sex with me no matter what, I don't think that the HPV vaccine should be mandatory.

    Any communicable disease spread through extremely common behavior that people think that they have a right to, mandating the vaccine is the lesser aggression.

  • John Thacker||

    About 5-15% of people don't get immunity to measles from one dose of MMR. But even that was enough to massively reduce the number of cases back when only one dose was performed, thanks to herd immunity and everyone getting it in the US.

    After we went to a booster recommended, that raised the immunity rate to more like 99%, which means that now when there are outbreaks most people who get it were immunized. But even so, the CDC reports that 20% of people who have gotten measles in the latest outbreaks were vaccinated.

  • John Thacker||

    And note that a lot of the 80% who were unvaccinated who got the disease were simply too young to safely receive the vaccine yet.

  • Free Society||

    People should get vaccinated. I support the science of it completely. The moment someone like you tries to force the vaccine into my body, in my view that person just forfeited their life. Aggression meet defense.

  • ||

    However, I find the case for "herd immunity" to be weak.

    I fail to see how libertarians don't realize that 'herd immunity' as an argument in favor of compulsory vaccination, at it's core, is the bona fide, solid gold, core argument for Obamacare and all the socialism that goes along with it.

    Take from those who can get vaccinated (or even don't need to) to and give to those that can't.

  • mlcorcoran||

    I can see how one would draw that distinction, however it is false.

    The bona fide, solid gold, core argument for Obamacare CLAIMS to be that mandated health insurance will have a positive net affect on public health. However the reality we have seen is that mandates, coersion, and price fixing do not deliver the pipedream that the Democrat agenda promises.

  • Free Society||

    Whether or not to compel vaccinations is a moral issue. Not a pragmatic one.

  • ||

    I can see how one would draw that distinction, however it is false.

    Pick a disease, ask any epidemiologist what the minimum percentage of the population needs to get vaccinated to achieve herd immunity would be.

    As was pointed out in the article, the conversation, nearly immediately, transitions into discussions about demographics and infrastructure, access to food, clean water, healthcare, and education about disease. There are precious few vaccines (maybe a handful at most) that live up to the promises of a mostly hollow social mandate.

    Moreover, just like Obamacare, guarantees of immunity and panacea today are not an intrinsic guard against the calamity of tomorrow. Be it the vaccine wearing off, an entirely different strain popping up, or a different issue entirely.

    I'm not against voluntarily striving for herd immunity (the way we've eliminated *some* of the diseases we have eradicated) but compulsory vaccination for the sake of herd immunity is no different than compelling 20-somethings to meet some minimum standard of healthcare coverage so that the 80-somethings get covered on the premise that it, somehow, makes us all better off.

  • Libertopian||

    If herd immunity is so real and beneficial then the majority of people acting in their own self-interest will vaccinate themselves and their children voluntarily. You either believe in self-ownership and private property or you don't. I get that it's fun for a lot of people to assume the role of the wise elite who get to be in charge of everyone, but if that's the case then you're NOT a libertarian.

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    I oppose MANDATORY vaccinations but the squeels of conspiracy nuts make me want to rethink my position. They're just so enjoyable!

  • entropy||

    I'm pushed the opposite way. A lot of the stuff put out by the anti-vaccine people is pure aliens-raped-my-butt crazy but if that's what it takes to stop statists I guess I have to side with them.

    I don't like encouraging that shit but it's definitely less dangerous in the long run than statism. Those nutjobs are mostly just a danger to themselves. Statists are dangerous to other people.

  • VicRattlehead||

    My significant other has severe muscular problems and nerve damage brought on by over vaccination, some of the people are aliens raped my butt crazy but this poor girl is stuck in a wheelchair or on crutches at best for the rest of her life because of Merthiolate poisoning so yes getting the shot can be life destroying, even more so than dying young from a disease

  • CentristClassicalLiberal||

    What's healthy for one person can kill someone else. I'm not disputing that. It's the ignorance regarding autism that drives me as an aspie to make extremely crude, violent jokes (because jokes are intangible and can't physically harm anyone) about these people. Autistic spectrum people have always been around, the methods of diagnosing have just gotten better (and more tedious). Before they, and a bunch of other harmless people, were considered psychopaths.

  • Libertopian||

    People vocally opposing and voicing skepticism of the political establishment can be very threatening to many.

  • See.More||

    . . . For once it is permitted to proceed beyond defense against an overt act of actual aggression, once one can use force against someone because of his “risky” activities, the sky is then the limit, and there is virtually no limit to aggression against the rights of others. Once permit someone’s “fear” of the “risky” activities of others to lead to coercive action, then any tyranny becomes justified. . .

    Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty [Bold emphasis is mine.]

    Anything State mandated is, by definition, statist and seizes State ownership, in part, of the individual. Therefore, there can be no libertarian argument supporting State mandated vaccinations.

  • Free Society||

    It's morally reprehensible. Case closed.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Get the government out of it and let the free market fix this.

    We don't need laws or the government telling us what to do.

    Get rid of laws requiring vaccines for polio and other diseases.

    Get rid of free vaccines, make people pay for them, and let people take personal reponsibility for their actions and consequences already.

    It's just a bunch of communist and nannies trying to tell us what's right again.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    Vaccinations are one of the costs of admission to a civilized, some-what safe, society.
    If that admission price is too steep, stay in the wilderness where you can't negatively effect others.

  • Free Society||

    So if I don't ingest politically favored medicine I should be cast out into the wilderness to die. What kind of liberty are you advocating exactly? The fascist type?

  • ||

    So if the effectiveness of vaccinations derives largely from "herd immunity," and since most people willingly get themselves (and their kids) vaccinated, it sounds to me like a problem that pretty much solves itself. No need, then, to force people at gunpoint to undergo a medical procedure they don't want.

  • Robert||

    It does solve itself as long as the vaccine is not too dangerous. Fortunately vaccines tend to get safer over time, esp. as tech advances. However, some new threat could be imagined to come up that would require people to take a dangerous vaccine, and to coerce each other into taking it.

  • Free Society||

    I can't imagine any threat great enough to justify coercive vaccination. If the threat was great enough, then the vast majority of people would be lining up around the block to get it. If the threat is so great as to justify putting a gun to everyone's head to force them to take it, then it's probably not a real threat, or at least not as big as the threat posed by the legitimization of coercive vaccination.

  • CE||

    Should vaccines be mandatory? i.e., should the government have the right to puncture your child with a sharp object and inject a chemical, because they say it will be good for your child, and for the whole herd of children?

    I can't believe that's even a question a libertarian would ask.

  • CE||

    And wasn't this the basic premise of Equilibrium?

    Remember when people laughed at the idea that incandescent light bulbs would be banned?

  • Andy Cutler||

    It isn't a question a libertarian would ask. There are a lot of confused fascists around and some of them pretend to be libertarian.

  • Andy Cutler||

    No libertarian can advocate mandatory vaccination or any other mandatory and enforced government intervention. To do so requires accepting that government experts are right and those who disagree with them are wrong. Freedom requires permitting people to disagree with government experts and act on their beliefs.

    In the case of vaccines and autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma the government experts are proven conclusively wrong by their own journal literature. E. g. the paper by DeSoto and Hitlan showing that had errors not been made in the statistical calculations earlier data would have - and in fact did - conclusively prove mercury in vaccines causes autism. The paper with the bad calculations is still widely cited by government experts. The government experts picked one of their own to put the issue to rest. Dr. Poul Thorsen wrote a paper in which he claims he analyzed all autism cases in Denmark and proved vaccines have nothing to do with it. However, he stole all the money so presumably no research got done - google 'thorsen autism' and read the Department of Justice website on this. Dr. Thorsen's paper continues to be widely used.

    So the government's case that vaccines are safe depends on incompetents and criminals. But people PRETENDING to be libertarians when they are in fact fascists still pretend it is OK to let GOVERNMENT EXPERTS make life and death decisions for your child even when you know better.

  • Robert||

    To do so requires accepting that government experts are right


    You're assuming it's imposed by some elite. What if it's imposed democratically because the popul'n has accepted the judgement of experts who are not necessarily gov't-employed?

  • See.More||

    What if it's imposed democratically because the popul'n has accepted the judgement of experts who are not necessarily gov't-employed?

    Argumentum ad populum. Appealing to majority whim is a logical fallacy; just 'cause something is "imposed democratically", does not make it proper, right, or just.

    It merely makes it popular.

  • Robert||

    But whether it's proper, right, or just was not at issue. The question was why it came about, and Andy Cutler made an assumption that's not always true. Frequently gov't experts disagree with either what's commonly believed or with non-gov't experts, and in most cases in a democracy it's what the general public asks for that they get. Sometimes an elite in gov't does make a contrary imposition, but usually not for very long.

    For example, gov't experts have, probably always, opposed wars on drugs. However, democratically installed officials have decreed such wars.

  • VicRattlehead||

    "democratically"
    because everyone worldwide, citizen or not, even the deceased should have a say
    because if you don't vote for us, we will find 10 dead men who will

  • Free Society||

    But whether it's proper, right, or just was not at issue.

    It's exactly whats at issue here. Whether or not something should be compulsory is a moral question. The scientific efficacy of vaccination is not the issue, it's the coercion of forcing people to take politically favored medicine that's the issue. There is no valid argument for liberty that involves compulsory vaccination. It's antithetical to liberty and immoral to boot.

  • Andy Cutler||

    The correct libertarian solution to this problem is genocide prosecutions against all relevant officials at the FDA, CDC, AAP and vaccine companies and hundreds of resultant death penalties that actually get carried out. This will both encourage greater care on the part of future government experts and help the public understand the folly of relying on government experts instead of the judgment of private parties as to what is best for them and their children.

  • Another Phil||

    Cool story, bro.

  • foodscientist||

    While I respect all opinions presented in this article, the KEY question is really should ALL vaccines be mandatory. While compelling (though still debatable) to mandate mass vaccination for some diseases - it is certainly absurd to suggest that any and all vaccines which the government deems "worthy" should be made compulsory, and certainly historical evidence is clear that in many cases these vaccines are NOT safe (Swine Flu anyone?). My key concern is not vaccination of myself or offspring with historically used vaccines which have a long history of efficacy, but the continued appearance and promotion of new, unproven vaccines which state authorities around the country seem bent on mandating.

  • Robert||

    Don't expect to solve every problem by analysis according to principle. See the movie The Village, the moral of which is, "Sometimes you should break the rules."

  • ||

    There is some bad math in the case for mandatory vaccination. Thus we have the story of one unvaccinated child causing 34 cases of measles, implying a very large return on investment. However we have little or no way to know which child will be exposed to infection, meaning that we need to vaccinate all of them, at a much higher cost, which becomes even higher when we add in all the unvaccinated who did not get infected. As it is, voluntary vaccination does a good job of making the decision maker shoulder the costs [and get the benefits].
    Herd immunity is real, but that does not make it large enough to abandon important principles.

  • pspomer||

    Great debate.

    I strongly lean in favor of personal liberty, but at some point, leaving your children unvaccinated does infringe upon everyone else's freedom not to get sick. If vaccines were 100% effective, there would clearly be no reason to force people to get them, but unfortunately tehy are not, so this does infringe on other's rights.

    The idea of not making vaccines mandatory, but holding those that do not vaccinate liable is an intriguing compromise of sorts.

  • BigT||

    "The idea of not making vaccines mandatory, but holding those that do not vaccinate liable is an intriguing compromise of sorts."

    Really? How ya gonna prove who's at fault if your vaccinated kid gets mumps?

  • See.More||

    But... but... but, if his kid is vaccinated, he won't get mumps. It's only if he doesn't vaccinate his kid that his kid is at risk...

  • See.More||

    There is no such beast as "freedom [or right] to not get sick". In general public contact, you are absolutely not entitled to force anyone else to do anything to keep you from getting sick.

    And, even people that have been immunized / vaccinated can carry and spread pathogens. Vaccinations are not some silver bullet that instantly eliminates all pathogens upon contact with the vaccinated. They can still carry and spread by contact with the skin or their clothes and by airborne transfer just from breathing, much less coughing and sneezing.

    But, if you and your kids have been vaccinated, you don't have anything to worry about, do you? Then my un-vaccinated self is not a threat to you.

  • See.More||

    . . . For once it is permitted to proceed beyond defense against an overt act of actual aggression, once one can use force against someone because of his “risky” activities, the sky is then the limit, and there is virtually no limit to aggression against the rights of others. Once permit someone’s “fear” of the “risky” activities of others to lead to coercive action, then any tyranny becomes justified. . .

    Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty

  • exchef100||

    My simple example is the flu vaccine/shot. I elected to have my child vaccinated for everything (I think, you'll have to ask my wife). When he was 1 the doctor said he needed to get the flu vaccine that year and we agreed. Never again.

    We will take our chances with a flu instead of getting a shot and guaranteeing 3+ weeks of flu-like hell.

    I should be allowed to make that choice.

  • aprejohn||

    Exactly. Growing up, every time I got the flu shot I ended up getting the flu within the week, so did my dad. We eventually opted out of getting the flu shot and haven't had the flu since. When I had my son and gave him the flu shot for the first time, he got the flu within a week. Haven't given him the flu shot since and he hasn't got the flu. Even when his dad got the flu this year we still did not get the flu nor did we spread the flu to anyone. So we will still choose not to get the flu shot and I should be allowed to choose whether I do or whether I don't.

  • Libertopian||

    That didn't happen because SCIENCE.

  • Erasmus vs. Luther||

    On a completely unrelated topic, disgraced former Congressman Patrick Kennedy's voice and speech patterns sound exactly like Officer Barbrady's.

  • wayne@herberts.org||

    Get yourself vaccinated. Deny health insurance coverage for those that will not vaccinate. Let them die in the street because why should we cover medical expenses for fools? Oh, wait, we do cover medical expenses for fools, therefore, vaccination must be mandatory.

  • Libertopian||

    And banks who fail get bailed out currently, so we should ban capitalism.

  • Response||

    People living in a country should simply not be required get vaccinations. However, vaccinations to enter a country should be required. Problem solved.

  • VicRattlehead||

    maybe nature got it right and was wiping out people with disease for a reason, perhaps the chips just fall where they may. is there really any reason to get all worked up over death, I mean you die when you die at 15 from a heart attack or at 80 from a car accident, you cant prevent death in life you are merely getting another day every time you open your eyes in the morning.
    sometimes it just is what it is....
    so do we become slaves to necrophobia, or do we live as free men and shake deaths hand when he comes for us, whenever that may be?

  • ernieyeball||

    "...maybe nature got it right and was wiping out people with disease for a reason,.."
    Nature does not have "a reason". Nature is not a conscious entity.

  • UrIgnoranceIsTrulyStuning||

    That's the problem with libertarians, you are all a bunch of experts! I would love to know how many of you have done any research past reading this ridiculous article? Anyone, anyone? Of course you haven't, you simply spew ignorant information that you have been spoon fed your entire lives. Because why? Because you are all the perfect image of health and vaccination has made you that way? Get a grip! I know so many people today who are extremely ill in one way or another, and they are not old people. You think that's an accident? It's no accident! You go the doctor and you put your perfectly healthy children in front of a white coat who tells you a shot of snake oil is going to keep them healthy, and you say, "Fill 'er up, sir." It doesn't matter if my kid dies or develops a serious vaccine injury, as long as he doesn't get them there measles..of course I'm so stupid I don't realize that the risk of a serious vaccine injury is way more dangerous to the health and well being of my child than a fever and a few bumps. Most of you are such stupid sheep it seriously stuns me that you call yourselves libertarians...

  • Libertopian||

    Yes but again, if you're a cool wise smart progressive left-libertarian none of this exists.

  • Holgar||

    I wonder how the people who feel "It's my choice whether I vaccinate or not" feel about letting food service workers choose whether or not to wash their hands.

  • Free Society||

    It is a choice whether or not I vaccinate. And I don't feel good about food service workers not washing their hands. That preference is pretty universal and I don't need to put a gun to someone's head to enforce my preference. I simply won't eat there like most people.

    The issue is the gun you put to someone's head, not the love of feces in their food. So maybe try another analogy that isn't worthless.

  • Libertopian||

    I feel that it's up to the business what their hand washing policy is, and if employees are caught violating that policy they will be fired.

  • thevaccinemachine||

    First, if you are going to keep running this garbage stop calling yourself a libertarian magazine. Either you are not libertarian or you do not have even a rudimentary understanding of libertarianism. It will take awhile to get through the absurdities posted here since you have to drag it out over three pages but let's start here:

    government-mandated vaccinations against communicable diseases, as reason discovered after including anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy in our "45 Enemies of Freedom" list (August/September 2013).

    No, it's not controversial among libertarians. It might be controversial among trolls who post on libertarian pages or on science groupies such as Bailey who impersonate libertarians but among those who value liberty, non-violence and voluntaryism is is not controversial. If it is controversial for you, check your premises. And as someone who follows this more closely than anyone else, I can assure you Jenny has said nothing on this issue for years. Your fixation on her is bizarre and reveals your ignorance on the issue. You sound more like vaccine extremists than libertarians.

  • thevaccinemachine||

    Millions of Americans believe it is perfectly all right to put other people at risk of death and misery.

    Please fire this child. Non-vaccinating is a non-action and cannot put anyone at risk. If the risk were not already here there would be nothing to vaccinate against. This argument is embarrassing.

    My God, it gets worse; Bailey has no conception of the libertarian argument for parental rights. We “homestead” a trust over our children because we have “created” them, share their genes and have a natural love for them. Overcoming this strong claim requires an almost insurmountable counter claim or evidence that the parent has abandoned their claim. You abandon a claim by failing to provide basic necessities such as food and shelter – things kids can’t live without – or you abuse them. Kids live quite well without immunization. They have built in protection in the form of an immune system. They can’t, on the other hand, feed themselves.

  • MSimon||

    Non-vaccinating is a non-action and cannot put anyone at risk.

    It puts the non-vaccinated at risk. I think the resurgence of whooping cough is a very good thing.

  • Libertopian||

    Your not buying me food puts me at risk of going hungry.

  • thevaccinemachine||

    so a percentage of those who took the responsibility to be vaccinated remain vulnerable.

    Bailey never provides an argument that there IS a responsibility to vaccinate, so we can simply dismiss this claim

    People who refuse vaccination for themselves and their children are free riding off of herd immunity

    Free ride is a lovely buzz word but even if we were “free riding” it would not be possible without the immoral policy of forcing vaccination on children to attend compulsory schools. And it’s not just public schools. Government tentacles reach into private schools as well, forcing unwanted vaccine on those children. He argues against us for being immoral while supporting an immoral system. Hilarious. Regardless, so-called free riding does not allow aggression against the innocent. If I don’t contribute to a fireworks display at a block party does Bailey think he can use violence to obtain a “contribution” from me? Not very libertarian.

  • Libertopian||

    Any time we get pleasure from anything that's free it's 'free riding'. So enjoying the sun or looking at a hot woman's legs is free riding. It's not aggression.

  • thevaccinemachine||

    I get it this the April’s Fools Day issue. You had me going for a while. Regardless, in case it isn’t I’ll play along. Bailey drones on with this gem

    Vaccines are like fences. Fences keep your neighbor's livestock out of your pastures and yours out of his. Similarly, vaccines separate people's microbes.

    It takes an action to acquire livestock. They are your property and you take on a responsibility for them. Germs are not actively acquired by us through action. They are unwanted invaders.

    Anti-vaccination folks are taking advantage of the fact that most people around them have chosen differently,

    You mean forced to “choose” differently. Adults vaccinate at 50% or less. And “take advantage” sounds ominous but we take advantage of things every day. No rights violation in that. Are you sure you’re a libertarian, Bailey?

    But if enough people refuse, that firewall comes down, and innocent people get hurt.

    The old “if everyone did that” argument. Juvenile at best. Nevertheless call me when the germs return and I’ll reconsider my decision. Based on history though, I’d probably have little interest in your potions. After all I saw chickenpox and I see flu and I see how little risk they pose. Perhaps if these mild illnesses did return people would see them as the minor annoyances our parents and grandparents did and share my disinterest in the government’s never-ending vaccine schedule

  • Will4Freedom||

    To: thevaccinemachine

    Amen, Brother/Sister!!! You seem to get it.

    I never thought I would see so many "Libertarians" use straw men as I have in these comments.

    Equating not getting a vaccine to actively committing aggression. Equating it to a drooling stalker?

    If a bird eats a berry from my tree and flies over your house and craps on you. Have I committed an aggression against you? Should the government make me dig up my berry bush?

    If I'm not wearing my glasses and trip on the sidewalk, am I committing an act of aggression if I bump into you and you fall too?

    "but the potential is there to infect me!!!" Then get a stupid shot if that will make you feel better.

    Frankly, I think there are more threats to our lives out there than naturally occurring microbes. There's a lot of people that would like to see the U.S. a burning cinder. Let the Government prevent that, rather than forcing people to get the shots that "they" think are necessary.

    "Herd" mentality is for sheep, not free men.

    Cheers.

  • MSimon||

    Sick people are good for the economy - end all vaccinations.

  • MSimon||

    Holgar|3.25.14 @ 10:45PM|#

    I wonder how the people who feel "It's my choice whether I vaccinate or not" feel about letting food service workers choose whether or not to wash their hands.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    This.

  • Free Society||

    They do choose. Just like I choose whether or not to eat at a filthy restaurant. Are you one of those people who would be eating shit if the FDA didn't exist?

  • Free Society||

    Few issues divide libertarians so emphatically as government-mandated vaccinations against communicable diseases,

    Yes it separates the moral from the immoral. The tyrants from the freedom loving. The principled from the cherry-pickers. The libertarians from pseudo-libertarians. So yeah it's a very divisive issue for libertarians...

  • Diphthong||

    You can't be for both violating informed consent & support freedom.

    They are mutually exclusive.

    Either you're for freedom & bodily autonomy/integrity (whether or not you consider it an inconvenience) or you are for tyranny, until it's brought to your door.

  • bassjoe||

    Here's a compromise: if you get my newborn seriously sick because you refused to get vaccinated, I'm explicitly allowed to ruin your life.

    Seriously, though, if vaccines are not mandated, there needs to be some way for those who are harmed to exact liability. If there's no mandate and no effective liability for one's decision that leads to harm, then that's the worst of both worlds.

  • See.More||

    @ bassjoe

    Here's a compromise: if you get my newborn seriously sick because you refused to get vaccinated, I'm explicitly allowed to ruin your life. . .

    Tell me bassjoe, what about someone that has been vaccinated, even has the appropriate immunity, that gets your newborn seriously sick because they unknowingly exposed your spawn to pathogens on their skin and clothing?

    The whole argument that the unvaccinated are such a potential threat completely, and quite disingenuously, ignores the simple fact that even the vaccinated may still carry/transmit the very infectious disease(s) they have been vaccinated against.

  • See.More||

    @ bassjoe

    Here's a compromise: if you get my newborn seriously sick because you refused to get vaccinated, I'm explicitly allowed to ruin your life. . .

    Nope.

    First, you would have to be able to prove that I am the one that knowingly and intentionally infected your spawn. Good luck with that.

    Second, there is proportionality.

    Third, microbes are a part of and a fact of nature. I cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for Acts of Nature.

    The only legitimate case for criminal or tort sanctions is in the case of someone that: (a) knows they are infected (i.e.: has been positively diagnosed with HIV, AIDS, herpes, Black Plague, statistphilia, whatever) and (b) knowingly and willfully engages in conduct with the express intent infecting someone else.

  • Tom O||

    Bzzt. Incorrect. It's well established in tort law that if you unreasonably create the risk of others suffering a substantial harm, you can be held liable for negligence. Failing to exercise reasonable care to prevent even a natural harm (e.g., improperly storing combustibles set on fire caused by a lightning strike) can still be the basis of liability.

    Finally, the doctrines of joint and several liability, alternative liability, and possibly market share liability as they've been applied in torts cases is usable here if it's a problem of proving direct causation. Given herd immunity and the fact that any nonparticipation in the herd increases the risk throughout, maybe we can just make every non-vaxxer proportionately liable for any harm. They can sue each other to work out the apportionment. I like it!

  • Free Society||

    The actions of biological agents are not your liability. If a pack of wolves lives somewhere around my large forest and they eat a neighbor's cow, I am not liable just because I didn't kill all the wolves. If poisonous snake lives underground in your lawn and then one day kills your mail-man, you are not liable for having not preemptively exterminated all life in your lawn. It's not an action undertaken by the agency of the person whom you would deem liable. Common-law liability just does not work that way. The forms of liability you mentioned don't even relate to this issue. A legal concept called 'vicarious liability' is what you're arguing for here. But assigning vicarious liability to humans for the actions of microbes is as absurd as it is unjust.

    If this conception of personal liability were valid, then it would be in every person's best interest to utterly exterminate all life around them.

    Your arguments are totalitarian and logically inconsistent.

  • LakePir8||

    Mad-libbed

    Aside from the issue of child neglect, there would be no argument against allowing people to refuse government-required Obamacare if they and their families were the only ones who suffered the consequences of their foolhardiness. Let's first take a look at how Obamacare has improved health, then consider the role of the state in promoting insurance.
    Obamacare is among the most effective health care innovations ever devised.Obamacare has played a substantial role in greatly reducing death and hospitalization rates, as well as the sheer unpleasantness of being hobbled by disease.
    But it is a simple fact that Obamacare is the most effective tool yet devised for preventing contagious airborne diseases.
    Obamacare does not always produce immunity, so a percentage of those who took the responsibility to be insured remain vulnerable. Other defenseless people include infants who are too young to be insured and individuals whose immune systems are compromised.
    People who refuse Obamacare for themselves and their children are free riding off of herd immunity.
    Obamacare is like a fence. Fences keep your neighbor's livestock out of your pastures and yours out of his. Similarly, Obamacare separates people's microbes. Anti-Obamacare folks are taking advantage of the fact that most people around them have chosen differently, thus acting as a firewall protecting them from disease.

  • Twyla||

    Ronald Bailey says, "The annual number of pertussis cases fell from 200,000 pre-vaccine to a low of 1,010 in 1976. Last year, the number of reported cases rose to 48,277, the highest since 1955. Eighteen infants died of the disease in 2012, up from just four in 1976."

    This CDC table shows vaccine uptake rates from 1962 to 2009 - a steady increase.
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pu.....verage.pdf
    In 1976 only 72.7% of 2-year-olds had been vaccinated against pertussis, compared with 95% now.

  • Libertopian||

    Wow so he's flat out lying.

  • mohoo||

    Vaccine deaths from whooping cough going back to the 1800's. Did vaccine make a difference. http://childhealthsafety.files.....1-1965.gif

  • mohoo||

    Libertarian ideals?
    Individualism, Individual Rights, The Rule of Law, Limited Government, Free Markets, Natural Harmony of Interests, Mandatory Vaccination
    Mmmm... something doesn't seem to fit here.

  • Gorbag||

    Taking a vaccine is a lot like paying taxes - something you do to "help" others more than yourself. As a libertarian, I don't think the government should be able to force anyone to do either. But I wonder if non-libertarians who think one should be able to opt out of taking a vaccine because of the very small harm one person not being vaccinated would do, also think one should be able to opt out of paying taxes because of the very small harm one person not paying taxes would do?

  • ||

    Well, it seems to me that there are a couple of things going on here.

    1. Our rights are being violated by being forced to be vaccinated. It is my choice (as I choose to NOT receive the "Flu" vaccine every year). While I was in the Navy it was a mandatory function every year to receive the flu vaccine. Yet I still contracted the flu. Yes I'm aware that this years vaccine is for last years flu.

    2. If you are vaccinated and vaccinations work as advertised; Why are you concerned about those that don't get vaccinated? Logically the vaccination puts you in "safe harbor" from the disease.
    If it doesn't, then it is a waste of time. EH?

  • mohoo||

    90% of students in NYC measles outbreak were vaccinated. Go figure.
    http://www.prisonplanet.com/90.....nated.html

  • Tom O||

    Ok, Sandy Reider is not listed by the Vermont Department of Health as a licensed physician. She is listed on the website of this food coop (lol) as "specializing in homeopathic, herbal and nutritional therapies":

    http://www.stjfoodcoop.com/scr.....links.html

    Just for the sake of full disclosure, which I'm sure is of paramount concern to anti-vaxers, about what we're expected to swallow here.

  • Free Society||

    The presence of an occupational license means precisely fuckall about the person's ability to do that job.

  • LindaRosaRN||

    Homeopathy requires its practitioners to have the scientific sophistication of a troglodyte, or squat for medical ethics.

    Homeopaths sell worthless "homeopathic vaccines," so it serves their business to scaremonger about actual vaccines and misrepresent their effectiveness.

    Reason made a poor choice in publishing Reider's opinions.

  • beaker55||

    Immunization dogma and vaccinations are pale substitutes for immunology and the natural process of human immune response fortification. Both have their place, but our culturally dogmatic fear of death drives virtually every public enterprise. Knowing who/what you really are releases you from that fear. Fear is a great motivator toward any end... whether perceived as good or evil.
    http://www.greenmedinfo.com/bl.....d-87859285

  • Delius||

    I am not sure whether vaccination should be mandatory. However, Sandy Reider makes the argument against it in the worst way possible, by bringing up the same tired old arguments of the anti-vaxxers that have been debunked over and over again.

    Yes, infectious diseases had declined prior to the introduction of vaccines. 380 deaths from measles in 1960 doesn't sound like a lot -- but it is a heck of lot more than ZERO, which is what we effectively have now.

    Then we get the old canard about "the majority of people getting these diseases were vaccinated". Vaccines are not 100% effective, and THERE ARE A LOT MORE VACCINATED PEOPLE THAN NOT. This is basic statistics; 2% of 10,000 is more than 90% of 100. That doesn't mean you are better off being one of the 100.

    Reider brings up dark hints of conspiracy, talking about "cozy" relationships between various cabals and calling more vaccinations "a drug company's dream come true". This is simply irresponsible. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people around the world, all going along with a program that goes against not just their sworn duty but what basic human conscience would compel? It is ludicrous on the face of it.

    Reider says "the science isn't settled" and in a way, that is correct, because REAL science is never "settled". That kind of absolutism is the hallmark of the quacks and cranks of the world (like the anti-vaxxers). But the evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of vaccination.

  • Libertopian||

    "Yes, infectious diseases had declined prior to the introduction of vaccines. 380 deaths from measles in 1960 doesn't sound like a lot -- but it is a heck of lot more than ZERO, which is what we effectively have now."

    Yeah but the RATE OF DECLINE of deaths was AS LARGE BEFORE the vaccines were introduced as afterward. So there is NO evidence of causality between the implementation of vaccines and a decline in deaths afterward! So you pro-vaxxers are just flat out perpetrating a hoax.

  • LindaRosaRN||

    Reason magazine fails to disclose that Dr. Sandy Reider apparently practices homeopathy – a practice more far fetched than a belief in fairies.

    In my opinion, anyone who sells homeopathy to the public is hardly a reliable source of information about ethical healthcare or vaccination.

    Does Dr. Reider sell "homeopathic vaccines" to the public?

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicin.....-vaccines/

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