Vaccines

Young People See More Wiggle Room on Vaccinations

Millennials are far more likely to think parents should get to decide whether to vaccinate their kids.

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The Internet is atwitter over comments made by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on whether parents should be required to vaccinate their children against some dangerous and highly communicable diseases. In an interview on CNBC yesterday, Paul defended the idea that most vaccines ought to be voluntary.

A solid majority of Americans disagrees with the senator's position. Nearly seven in ten adults think the government should require that children be vaccinated against things like measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and polio, according to a survey conducted by Pew Research last August.

It turns out, though, that millennials are significantly less likely to feel that way. Pew found that the youngest respondents (those between the ages of 18 and 29) were twice as likely as the oldest respondents (those 65 and up) to say that parents should be able to decide whether to vaccinate their kids. This could be a reflection of youngsters' radical commitment to individual freedoms. Or it might be that millennials, who never experienced scourges like widespread polio the way their grandparents did, are less educated about the medical benefits of vaccination.

Pew Research/HuffPollster

Interestingly, anti-vaccination sympathies aren't as widespread among elites as one might think. Per the report:

Although some have linked the anti-vaccination movement to more-affluent, highly educated parents, Pew Research data show little difference in people's views based on income or education.

There is one group that overwhelmingly supports making vaccines mandatory: Scientists themselves. According to Pew, American adults generally are more than twice as likely to think parents should get to choose not to vaccinate their children (30 percent) compared to members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (13 percent).

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  1. Unfortunately for Paul, Millennials have been vaccinated against voting.

    1. Perhaps someone should conduct a poll, yo?

    2. This vaccine has terrible side effects. They include living a life of not giving a fuck about wasting time helping psychopaths rise to power with promises of cheaper unicorns.

  2. The government is your daddy

  3. Yeah, focus obsessively on a particular generation, like was done with the Baby Boomers. No way that could give them inflated egos!

  4. Although some have linked the anti-vaccination movement to more-affluent, highly educated parents, Pew Research data show little difference in people’s views based on income or education.

    There goes another one of John’s talking points.

    1. Wrong again.

      1. Yeah. Polls don’t mean anything. Whatever John feels is true is actually the real truth.

        1. There’s a difference in the polling between the “this should be the parents’ choice” question and the “I personally immunize my children” result. The vast majority of people in the pro-choice gap get the immunizations, though obviously a pro-choice majority can enable the refuseniks. See here for example.

          Poll questions about the latter show that the poor are less likely to be immunized.

          1. The school with the highest PBE rate in the state is the Grace Family Christian School in Sacramento, with 93%.

            http://kieranhealy.org/blog/ar…..ergartens/

            Hardly a “liberal” school.

            1. OTOH, the next four are “Berkeley Rose School in Alameda County (87%), the Cedar Springs Waldorf in El Dorado (84%), Westside Waldorf in LA (80%) and the Kabbalah Children’s Academy in Los Angeles (75%),” and all of those are liberal schools, FWIW.

              But as I said, there’s not a strong ideological or party coalition to this, though it does seem more common in liberal states (possibly because of state laws; the conservatives of liberal states seem as prone as the liberals.)

              There is a very strong correlation with age, though.

              1. All of those are really small schools, too, which you would expect to be outliers anyway because of how population statistics works.

                Same reason why in any international table you’re a lot more likely to see small countries at the top (and bottom).

      2. Best to ignore Teh Weigel. It isn’t sentient and the drivel it spews is just spittle that misses the drool cup and hits the keyboard instead.

          1. Hey, you might be contagious, and none of us have been vaccinated against Weigelitis. We don’t want to take the risk.

  5. Scientists almost always support government mandates, and government encroachment of liberties. A huge percentage of scientists are either directly employed by government or get their funding from government. They tend to be proselytizers of the State, taking on the role historically played by the Church in the alliance of throne and altar. Those scientists that do make their living in the marketplace are generally called “engineers.”

    1. Because scientists adhere to something even more sacred than the scientific method, and that is the tagline from Spaceballs II: The Search for More Money.

      Groupthink and access to crony privileges and grants are why scientists never met a government mandate they didn’t like.

      1. Scientists also place more trust in science, and its products.

    2. Please put “scientists” in quotes .

  6. Rand is walking a fine line. He needs to express distance from the anti-vaxxer movement, but still tow the liberty lion.

    I think that he should say something to the effect of “it is well known that certain vaccines and certain vaccine regimens carry a risk of side effects. While people may not agree on the full scope of those side effects, it is still within the rights of the parents to decide whether or not the risk is too much for their child. Therefore, I believe vaccines should be voluntary.

    I do also believe, however, that companies, schools, and other public-facing institutions have the right to set vaccination standards for people who come onto their premises. “

    1. I think he has already framed it that way. Problem is that to certain folks and to the media, you’re either for government mandatory vaccinations or your a science denying tea bagger.

      1. Listen to his CNBC interview. He almost says that vaccines cause autism.

        He said something to the effect of ‘I have seen walking, talking children that come down with a mental defect after getting vaccines.’

        1. He almost says that vaccines cause autism.

          On CNBC Paul did say that he thinks “vaccines are one of the biggest medical breakthroughs that we’ve had” and that “public awareness of how good vaccines are for kids and how they are good for public health is a great idea.

          The closest he comes is this:

          I’ve heard of many tragic cases of walking, talking normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.

          I think his sin here is overestimating the intelligence of many listeners, who can’t separate a report on what he’s heard (I’ve heard of many tragic cases . . . .) from an opinion on what the cause is (which he doesn’t express).

          Yes, there’s risk to vaccination. Why is it anti-science gibberish to note this undisputable fact?

          1. The same reason it’s inconvenient to note the incontrovertible fact that social security is a ponzi scheme. Because people vote based on emotion, not on fact.

            Rand can be 100% correct, but if he’s viewed as an anti-vaxxer kook, he won’t make it out of Iowa, let alone the full primary race.

            1. If he says anything other than he supports mandatory vaccination of everybody for everything, enforced at gunpoint following warrantless searches of your medical records, then he will be painted as an anti-vaxxer kook.

              By now, we should have learned that you simply cannot obtain fair coverage of anyone who doesn’t tow the proggy lion. And chasing it is worse than pointless.

            2. Ponzi schemes are voluntary. Social Security is much worse because people who can see it’s inherent flaws have to buy in anyway.

          2. If I had to guess, Rand Paul was probably referring to kids who were crippled by pertussis vaccination.

            The problem is, how do you say you think vaccination generally is a great technology without people hearing, “You should take everything that anyone ever labels as a vaccine, and also give it to your children, every time it’s offered.”? How do you point out vaccination is not without risk without people hearing, “All vaccines bad!”?

    2. All he had to say was:

      1. I vaccinated my kids because I think it’s safe.

      2. But I understand there are concerns out there so consult your doctor.

      3. It absolutely is an issue of freedom of choice and liberty. I don’t want the government forcing vaccines on Amish communities, for example.

      But for God’s sake, don’t make it sound like you subscribe to anything crazy. Hire a good media coach.

      1. GM, I hear you that the tone was off a few degrees.

        But no amount of media coaching is going to negate the institutional bias of the legacy media. Hell, these are the same people who are still mocking Sarah Palin for something she never said.

        1. You can’t stop institutionalized bias, but you can hand them a Nerf bat instead of a Louisville Slugger, wrapped with barbed wire, and a train spike pounded through it.

  7. Although some have linked the anti-vaccination movement to more-affluent, highly educated parents, Pew Research data show little difference in people’s views based on income or education.

    Well them and a bunch of religious groups.

    But still, there are affluent neighborhoods of LA and other places that have vaccination rates lower than third world countries.

  8. Makes sense. Millennials trust the government less, so they are less likely to believe a certain vaccine is for the public good instead of to pump up some cronies pockets. I will definitely want to personally review which vaccines my children are given and when. Especially with how doctors try to go lowest common denominator and give as many at once as possible because they don’t believe you will come back.

    1. I wonder what the profitability of a vaccine is versus something more proprietary. I’d guess that vaccines are not very profitable but they make up for that on volume.

      1. It’s definitely a volume thing. If you can get a big state like Texas or California to mandate all public school kids be vaccinated with your vaccine, that is an incredible amount of sales each year.

        Hell, just look at the scandal a while back for the vaccine Perry tried to mandate to stop ovarian cancer. Turns out it was produced by one of his buddies and only had a year of testing.

    2. Millennials trust the government less

      I think it’s more likely because millennials don’t remember the epedemics.

      After we sucked on the sugar cube my father took us out to dinner as a celebration that we no longer had to fear getting polio, as one of my cousins and a couple of friends had. That summer we got to go to the public swimming pool again.

  9. I wonder…maybe this will end up in a big Darwin Event that weeds out a crap ton of idiots and assholes? Is the downside the collateral damage of having your kids vaccinated but still susceptible to an outbreak if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time?

  10. 1) Nobody should be forced to be vaccinated

    2) Nobody should be forced to associate with people that refuse to vaccinate

    3) The concept of private businesses being “public accommodations” is bullshit

    4) Since we are never going to live in a libertarian world, public schools should prohibit unvaccinated kids from attending

    5) I have no problem with parents of home-schooled kids not vaccinating their kids — just don’t bring them around me

    5a) I suppose that the only way forward is to force unvaccinated kids to wear a scarlet “V”.

    1. That’s my take exactly. If you won’t vaccinate your kids, fine, but they’re going to be educated at your house, a private school that will take them, or a quarantine facility.

      1. I’d add one to this. Civil (and potentially criminal) liabilities should be imposed on people who chose not to vaccinate and infected other members of the populace (probably just those poor few who got the vaccine but not immunity).

        Commence vaccine flame war.

  11. In my experience people’s attitudes towards vaccinations are shaped by their experiences with communicable diseases.

    My grandparents grew up in the pre-antibiotic era where an infection could be a death sentence and polio was ravaging the country – they insisted on a rigid adherence to routines that interfered with transmission ie handwashing before eating, no blowing of noses in the kitchen etc.

    To them vaccination was a no-brainer.

    My mother’s generation grew up in a less dangerous era, but retains memories of the previous regime and largely continued the routines established by their parents.

    My father and I both witnessed epidemics in Turkey and are in the same camp as my granparents.

    My American cousins, on the other hand, have had no experience with these epidemics and are far more open to the people that peddle the fear that vaccines will cause serious problems.

    Sadly, this is a fairly common psychological phenomenon – people are good at gauging risks they have regular experience with, but have a terrible approach for risks that they have little experience with.

    1. people are good at gauging risks they have regular experience with, but have a terrible approach for risks that they have little experience with

      This is why reading history is important.

    2. Many geezers had measles, mumps, or rubella in childhood. Quite a few had all three. I had two out of the three, and know first-hand that they aren’t quite as devastating as portrayed in the media. Even though … we vaccinated our kids … because, why not? … Autism fears are bullshit.

      Still, mosquito-borne diseases are far, far worse for both adults and children than measles. The anti-science crowd’s propaganda against DDT has had far worse consequences for regions afflicted by malaria, dengue, West Nile, etc. than their propaganda regarding early childhood vaccinations. I know first-hand that a mild case of West Nile is far, far worse than measles or mumps.

      1. Since you were lucky to have mild case of these diseases (as most do), no need to fear them? How about you put a pregnant relative in a room with a active Rubella case then?

  12. Don’t worry. Give it ten or fifteen years and the next generation that grew up watching their friends get sick and sometimes die from these illnesses will likely have a different view of it and not have a good view of their parents.

    I would like to believe this is the result of them really being less trusting of government. I am, however, skeptical of that. I think it is mostly just them being ill informed and following fashionable opinion. Ask these people what they think of say the state mandating the curriculum taught by parents who home school or what they think of school choice or people’s objection to schools teaching birth control and I bet they are not so mistrustful of government or that respectful of parents.

    This is a case of “when the right people do something it is none of government’s business” and nothing more.

    1. I think this is about right. It’s necessary to see the horrors inflicted by poor decisions every few generations. Otherwise there’s no institutional memory. Sad, but there’s nothing to be done.

  13. So,do these people think every one should be forced to get a flu shot too? Thousands die from the flu every year,far more that measles.Are they willing to jail or kill people who do not follow ‘the Golden Path’?

    1. Since flue shots are not that effective, no. When they develop a flu shot that will, if taken by a large percentage of the population, make flue unheard of the way small pox is and measals used to be, get back to me.

      1. Really,they are quite effective many years,and your splitting hairs.If a school or a place of business mandates one foe entry,I’m ok with that.If you choose to go another way,that’s fine also.Kids are far more likely to be killed in a car accident.Freedom comes with risk.

        1. eally,they are quite effective many years

          They are only effective for the mutations that they cover. Their effectiveness depends upon how well the people who made it guess about the nature of flu this season. And they are only good for one year and flu is not generally deadly or even close to such for all but the very sick or very old.

          It is just not an analogous case to vaccines that are good for years and when taken by most of the society render the disease virtually extinct.

          1. No, they’re good (in the sense of retaining effect) for longer than a year, but it hardly matters in that a strain is unlikely to be the epidemic strain for years in succession.

          2. And the problem for your argument is that more & more vaccines are coming out w less & less effect. For a long time, vaccines weren’t developed unless they were expected to have a major impact on epidemic diseases; now they’re developed even without such an expect’n.

        2. The main thing is that flu shots will never get rid of the flu the way common childhood vaccinations have mostly eliminated some diseases. There are too many strains and too many animal reservoirs for the virus. Flu shots are more for personal protection than for creating any kind of herd immunity.

          I’m not suggesting that my experience is necessarily typical, but I’ve never had a flu shot and I think I’ve maybe had 2 or 3 mild cases in my adult life that consisted of feeling mildly crappy for a day and coughing for a week.

          1. Vaccination probably isn’t the proper way to treat the flu anyway. Antivirals are just as effective (if not more so since they can target systems common to all flu strains, not just antibodies unique to a particular strain). It’s not clear to people that getting a shot is a benefit if it only protects you for a year. Plus, pills far more profitable which will get the drug companies on board.

            1. citation?

          2. consisted of feeling mildly crappy for a day and coughing for a week

            If that’s all you experienced, you didn’t have the flu. I used to wonder how the flu killed so many people every year, until I got a good case of it. It was so bad my hair hurt. This was when I was younger in much better shape too. I know they are not perfect, but I haven’t missed a flu vaccination since that time.

            1. Well look who’s the diagnostic genius. OK, if you define “the flu” by some criteria of symptom severity, you could be right. And there are some infectious diseases where mere colonization is not considered infection, and there are others where the disease is classified by the organ in which pathology is manifest to a certain degree. However, influenza is not one of those diseases. You “have the flu” if you have any symptoms indicative of the virus, provided they were caused by the virus. Feeling mildly crappy for a day & coughing for a week is well within the spectrum of severity of sx of flu.

      2. And are you ok with using the threat of jail or death to enforce your rule?

        1. I believe that John has said that he supports requiring vaccinations for kids to attend school but nothing more coercive than that.
          Which seems like a reasonable position.

          1. Wrong. He seemed to be particularly perturbed that I suggested that very thing. He wants to take it further.

            https://reason.com/blog/2015/02…..nt_5062814

            1. Hmm. I specifically asked the other day and that is what he said. Maybe he has become more hard core with each vaccine article. Or he’s just being John and getting a little carried away.

          2. I agree ,schools and businesses can make there own rules.Many are calling for forced vaccinations for all.

      3. Flu shots are effective in the sense that, on average, each flu shot prevents significantly more than one case of the flu. They just aren’t super effective on the personal level, but on the population level they are, since flu is easy to spread.

        1. Will you use the threat of jail or death,that’s the question?

          1. Yes, absolutely.

            Why would you think that this is some sort of show-stopper? It’s not like libertarians forswear prison as a penalty for those things they believe are a matter of public concern; as far as I’m concerned preventing polio from coming back is a public concern which is well-served by penalizing the willful avoidance of vaccination for that disease. If you will, it is a reasonable moral imperative that a person take that vaccine — and also a reasonable moral imperative to penalize those who do not, given that the ramifications go far beyond that individual and that the cost is not at all a great one to be borne by that person.

            1. There’s such an easy way around this. That’s to just be okay with allowing civil/criminal fault for starting/contributing to outbreaks, spreading the disease, etc. Of course, only to those poor few bastards who got the vaccine but weren’t immunized (generally a small population). This is the population whose rights we’d be concerned about protecting, so why not give them remedies through the court system? We do this with all other types of injury. This seems like the most libertarian position possible in the face of overwhelming evidence on the effectiveness of vaccines (at least for things like polio, measles, etc).

    2. Kids don’t vote, so let’s make it mandatory for them. Never mind that a lot of adults who were vaccinated no longer produce enough antibodies. It’s voluntary and recommended to get a tetanus booster every 7-10 years, but a lot of adults don’t. Should we require immunization cards for adults to get employment?

      That being said, you’re dumb and irresponsible if you don’t get your kids vaccinated (unless they medically cannot get them).

      1. Should we require immunization cards for adults to get employment?

        My employer does.

        1. Which is great.

          Should the government require all business to get immunization cards from their employees? No.

          1. My employer is also subject to a licensing requirement re: vaccination of staff.

            1. Licensing. A whole new topic 😉

      2. Kids don’t vote,

        Since when are the kids making this decision? Its the parents who are. And they do vote.

        1. Yeah, it’s ridiculous to pretend that kids have any part in this. Particularly regarding the early childhood vaccinations which are the focus of the whole debate.

    3. Should a business be able to make a flu shot mandatory as a condition of employment? Yes.

      Should a college (public or private) be able to make a flu shot mandatory as a condition of attendance? Yes.

      Should the government be able to make a fle shot mandatory for all people? No.

      1. I agree +1

    4. Thousands die from the flu every year,far more that measles.

      More people die from the flu, yes. But its more like hundreds, not thousands.

      1. Your wrong,look it up.

        1. In this country?

          More like hundreds.

          According to the National Vital Statistics System in the U.S., for example, annual flu deaths in 2010 amounted to just 500 per year — fewer than deaths from ulcers (2,977), hernias (1,832) and pregnancy and childbirth (825), and a far cry from the big killers such as heart disease (597,689) and cancers (574,743).

          http://www.asrn.org/journal-ad…..eaths.html

          1. For some reason, “flu and pneumonia” are generally listed as a single item, which inflates the number.

            1. “flu deaths” are generally due to heart failure or respiratory failure from complications of the flu (pneumonia being one of the big ones).

              So many “flu deaths” are not listed as flu deaths on the death certificate. As a result, you can find wildly varying estimates on how many deaths per year are the result of the flu.

              1. About 36,000 deaths from any form of disease that originally resulted from influenza infection. Most of these in the young and elderly. Most in hospital settings (where you’re likely to get an infection with MRSA or other antibiotic-resistant bacteria). It’s impossible to disentangle how many die primarily because of the flu, how many die because they were in a hospital, etc.

                1. Maybe the fair comparison, since we’re talking about vaccines or not, is to ask how many fewer would have died if they had gotten the vaccine. That’s gotta be pretty close to that 36k number.

  14. Paul defended the idea that most vaccines ought to be voluntary

    This is what has been missed by both libertarians and their opponents.

    Not all vaccines are made the same. The side effects and benefits of the vaccines in question ought to be factored into the question of whether vaccination should be mandatory or not. Libertarians, as usual, divorce practical questions from the issue in an attempt to reduce the question to something resolvable by the ideology. Anti-libertarians, as usual, somehow manage to be even more shallow in suggesting that the existence of *some* vaccines for which this appropriate, indicates that one should arrive at the same position (pro-mandatory) for *all* vaccines.

    Rand Paul has a reasonable position on this issue, likely informed by his profession. Would be nice if others could be less dogmatic.

    1. ^^THIS^^

      We are really just talking about the MMR and polio shot here. The flu shot and the small pox shot are different.

      If this keeps going, how long before polio comes back? We only got rid of it because of the vaccine. Do you have a right to deny your kid a shot and put him at risk of being crippled?

      1. Do you have a right to deny your kid a shot and put him at risk of being crippled?

        That’s hard to answer,especially since the chance of getting polio, even while unvaccinated, is miniscule. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is on the same order as the risk of side effects from the vaccine.

        Do parents have the right to withhold vaccination? I think that’s an imperfect situation, but it is better than HHS passing down a master vaccination calendar that must be affirmed by a doctor’s note every year on your 1040.

        1. or riding in a car

        2. That’s hard to answer,especially since the chance of getting polio, even while unvaccinated, is miniscule.

          It is only miniscule because of the vaccine. If large numbers of people stop getting vaccinated, and it appears they are, it is only a matter of time before it returns and the chances of getting it grow exponentially.

          That is the thing, these diseases are amazingly contagious and very serious. People have managed to forget that because vaccines have been so effective. In say 1920, before vaccines people didn’t sit around and talk out of their asses about freedom and how dare the government make me do something. They were too busy worrying about their kids getting sick and dying. And when the vaccines did come around, they didn’t have to be told to take them.

          1. So your ok with jail or death for not following your law,that is what it always come down to.

            1. You okay with dying as a result of someone else’ ignorance? Are you willing to die for my freedom? If not, why do you expect me to die for yours?

              1. Are you willing to die for my freedom? If not, why do you expect me to die for yours?

                Be careful, John. That’s a line that any gun controller would be proud of.

                1. You would be right if guns had an X% chance of going off randomly and killing a stranger.

                  Such things do not happen if one exercises a minimum of safety. It is legitimate to place the blame on such occurrences only on those can be shown to have been negligent, instead of the entire population of gun owners.

                  In contrast, willful decision to forgo certain vaccines is itself a form of negligence.

                  Moreover, there is a legitimate harm when one is deprived of a gun: my ability to protect myself is diminished, and I am unable to enjoy an entire category of recreational activities.

                  In contrast, there is little to no harm for taking certain vaccines.

                  The scenarios are not analogous.

                  1. As more vaccines have been introduced autism rates have skyrocketed at the same time. There is a 1 in 68 chance a kid will be autistic. CDC and Merck both had whistleblowers stating they’ve known all along. I believe that vaccines are a good idea, I just wish they were safer and more effective. I also think the government should stay out of my healthcare.

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/l…..81914.html

                2. RC

                  Only if you are an animist and a moron who thinks guns, rather than people cause harm. Germs in contrast really do cause harm.

              2. You okay with dying as a result of someone else’ ignorance?

                I accept that risk every time I get on the road.

                1. Sure. But you also have the potential to be made right if something like that happens. There are civil remedies available to you (or your estate) in the result of your death due to someone else’s negligence. It’s not quite an appropriate comparison.

          2. If large numbers of people stop getting vaccinated, and it appears they are, it is only a matter of time before it returns and the chances of getting it grow exponentially.

            Which changes the calculus of the decision making and more people get vaccinated.

            With some volatility it probably settles into a nice equilibrium, in which the perceived benefit == perceived cost.

            Its fucking economics.

            1. If large numbers of people stop getting vaccinated, and it appears they are, it is only a matter of time before it returns and the chances of getting it grow exponentially.

              Which changes the calculus of the decision making and more people get vaccinated.

              With some volatility it probably settles into a nice equilibrium, in which the perceived benefit == perceived cost.

              Its fucking economics.

              Yes it is — just not the economics you infer, because costs are socialized under a simple vaccine model. In such cases benefit =/= cost, because benefits (such as they are) are private while costs are offloaded onto others randomly.

              1. COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
                COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
                COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
                COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
                COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
                COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE
                COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE

                RIP

                Havent got the chance to do that in a while.

              2. By costs, I was referring to both the risk of contracting the disease AND the potential harm from the vaccine.

                The latter isnt offloaded onto others, and neither is the former in the way I meant it.

                But I like my previous answer too.

                1. By costs, I was referring to both the risk of contracting the disease AND the potential harm from the vaccine

                  I know, and this is not fully accounting for costs since another cost is the spread of the disease to another person. So the risk of contracting the disease for a person (say, P(x)) + the risk of spreading to another person (P(y)).

                  Moreover, information regarding medical decisions is absolutely abysmal such that a perceived P(x) will be completely off the mark — and given the exponential model for disease spread, much easier to cut it off at the head via vaccination before that growth starts than after.

        3. It wouldn’t be the most terrible idea to allow institutions to require a shot card for admission and to make the dependent deduction of Form 1040 contingent upon vaccination.

          In other words, parents would have freedom to have irrational vaccination fears, but schools and Disneyland could deny them admission and the IRS could deny them a tax deduction. This would compel parents to consider whether holding their irrational fears is worth it.

          1. Also, allow insurance companies to jack up premiums on unvaccinated kids sky-high, or to deny coverage.

            The fact is that unvaccinated kids pose an unnecessary and costly risk to many institutions. It is not necessary for the State to coerce compliance. It need only allow civil institutions the liberty to discriminate rationally against the recalcitrant parents.

            1. The fact is that unvaccinated kids pose an unnecessary and costly risk to many institutions…

              Bullshit.

              The unvaccinated, in and of themselves, pose ZERO risk.

              Not being vaccinated does not increase their risk to catching and spreading a disease; it merely does not DECREASE their natural chances of catching a disease. Unvaccinated, but otherwise healthy and not contagious, are at zero risk of spreading a disease.

              Being vaccinated does not eliminate the risk; it merely dramatically reduces the natural risk, but the risk is still greater than zero.

              The costly risk to many institutions are infectious individuals, regardless of their vaccination status, exposing others.

      2. Bullshit,we are talking about risk,there are many things we do every day that carries more risk.Lets out law cars,smoking,all drugs,including meds.Football,soccer and on and on.Your talking about one small risk you think government should eliminate.

        1. So my placing you at risk isn’t a problem? If someone has HIV, is it okay for them to have sex with you without telling you? You only have about a one in three risk of catching from them.

          Is it okay for me to drive down the road past you at a 100 mph? I am only placing you at risk of my hitting you. If I don’t actually hit you, what is the harm?

          1. John, you are firmly on one of the nannies favoritest slippery slopes, the one where the precautionary principle says the state can and should outlaw anything that poses any risk to any third party.

            Replace “communicable disease” with “second-hand smoke”, and you’ll see the problem.

            This isn’t easy or obvious, but I think by now we know that jailing people who have never actually harmed someone else, but only created a risk of harm, leads to some very unpleasant places.

            1. Communicable disease are not second hand smoke. Not every slop is slippery. It only gets slippery if you are a fucking idiot.

              RC, you should be smarter than this. Read my post above. You can make a slippery slope argument about every government action. Vaccines are not second hand smoke. And thinking we need to make people get them is not the same as saying you can’t smoke. The level of risk is different, the validity of the science behind the harm is different and the effects of each action is different and much more predictable in the case of vaccines.

              The slippery slope argument is nice and all but it doesn’t always apply. Sometimes one thing is the obvious right thing to do and another, though somewhat analogous, is obviously so different that it doesn’t follow from the first.

              1. The HIV statistic is horribly incorrect. HIV is pretty damned hard to get even when having sex with an infected person. Worst case scenario (unprotected recipient, male-male) is a little worse than 1 in 1000 chance. This is pretty much the only reason that HIV hasn’t spread through the entire populace by this point. Its kind of awful and being transmitted person-to-person.

          2. So my placing you at risk isn’t a problem? If someone has HIV, is it okay for them to have sex with you without telling you? You only have about a one in three risk of catching from them.

            This goes back to previous thread. The problem is with the person who gave you HIV. Not with every HIV infected person having sex.

          3. So my placing you at risk isn’t a problem?

            Infectious people that take few or no precautions against spreading puts you at greater risk. Simply being unvaccinated, in and of itself, does nothing to increase the risk to you.

            I will certainly argue, however, that, vaccinated or not, IF someone, or their child, gets sick and knows or even suspects that they might be infectious, then they have a personal responsibility to minimize their, or their child’s, exposure to others.

          4. I don’t think the government should take away your 100mph+ capable car and force you to buy a one from their approved list, nor tell you that if you want to keep your car, you can’t take it on any public roads.

            There is a difference between trying to give someone HIV intentionally, and not being vaccinated for it. Speaking of have you gotten your ebola or HIV vaccine yet?

            http://www.aidsmap.com/Groundb…..e/2920491/

      3. Do people still get polio shots in the US? I mean besides people who are traveling to places where it is still prevalent or are otherwise at increased risk?

          1. I didn’t think so. Seems perhaps John is less well informed than he believes.

            1. My colleagues in public health actually worry about the fact that no one is vaccinated for polio these days. It means that a resurgence of the disease would be absolutely devastating to the population and to healthcare systems through the world. We know that some diseases that were eradicated in the natural world are still worked on in military (often weapons) labs. Smallpox is a good example and interesting to weapons people not least of all because no one has immunity to it anymore. Even if polio is not worked on in labs, it may still exist in an isolated population somewhere in the world and may someday make it into the civilized world. The fact that we don’t vaccinate for polio might not be a great thing. It’s all risk-benefit as to whether to vaccinate against polio, but with no history on which to base the calculation.

        1. More than that, it seems like we were doing fine without a federal mandate for vaccinations. So, why is it suddenly imperative for vaccines to be mandated? It’s not libertarian idealism to say that a blanket mandate is wrong, when we’ve been quite fine without a mandate. It’s like calling for the nationalization of a market, when the market has been doing just fine for decades.

          The public school policy is palatable to me, and there’s nothing wrong with demanding that exemptions be narrowed back down. It is wrong to force parents to send their kids to school and so likely require them to get vaccinated (unless they can afford homeschooling), but the problem there is mandatory schooling, not the vaccination policy.

        2. Yes. All of my children have received the polio vaccine as a matter of course at their well visits. We didn’t ask specifically for it. There was a schedule of vaccinations and polio was on it. My father had polio as a child, so I was well aware of the dangers of the disease should it come crawling around again. The vaccination is safe and effective so we didn’t think twice about not getting it. I live in New York state. YMMV.

  15. Thought experiment: If you refuse to vaccinate your kid, and they later contract a terrible disease, can you be prosecuted for criminal negligence?

    1. Yes. It is depraved indifference. Suppose, I decided that the science of food and nutrition was just junk put out by big agriculture and I was going to feed my child a diet of brown rice and green vegetables only. When my kid shows up a few months later suffering from severe malnutrition and scurvy as a result, am I guilty of criminal negligence? I think so.

      How is that any different than not vaccinating him and having him get some awful disease? You can’t force me to put vaccines in my kid, how can you force me to put food into him based on your corporate shill science?

      1. I was thinking about this as an alternate to mandatory vaccinations.

        “do what ever you want, but you go to prison if you child gets polio”

        1. That is not a bad solution. It wouldn’t take long for people to wise up if they actually faced some consequences if their kid got sick.

        2. Much more likely to have Obamacare-style fines for noncompliance, with possible jail time if you can’t afford the fine.

        3. or being killed you your car,or smoking cigs or pot,or drinking.

          1. The auto thing already has the element of liability and remedy (through mandatory insurance, which is a whole other issue). Smoking and drinking are risks borne entirely (or at least mostly) by you so there’s much less of a need to worry about making other parties whole. Externalities like DWI are taking into account by criminal penalties.

            Not at all comparable.

      2. So you would jail Christian Scientists who refuse medical care for their child?

        1. Great question. I’ve never been able to come to an answer that I like on that topic.

          1. Im not sure I like my answer, but I side with the parents, as fucking retarded as they are.

            There is some line that crosses into abuse, but that isnt it, for me.

            1. There is a reason we have juries.

      3. SO, John, the other day you said you weren’t for anything beyond requiring kids to be vaccinated to go to school. Are you getting more hard core on this?

        It seems to me that to prosecute someone because their kid got sick after not being vaccinated would be very difficult. Both because of popular opinion on the subject and because (by my standards at least) it would be very hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the failure to vaccinate led directly to the sickness. And I am not convinced that the kid, if he didn’t die from the sickness, would be better off with his parents paying big fines or going to prison.

        I think schools requiring vaccination is good. But beyond that, there is only so much you can do to force people to do anything, no matter how beneficial. If you can’t convince enough people that vaccination is a good idea, I don’t think you will ever be able to get the rate high enough through coercion. If you push too hard, it will probably become counterproductive at some point. You can’t fix every problem. If enough people are dumb enough to forgo vaccinations for their kids, then there’s not much anyone is going to do about it.

        1. It seems to me that to prosecute someone because their kid got sick after not being vaccinated would be very difficult. Both because of popular opinion on the subject and because (by my standards at least) it would be very hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the failure to vaccinate led directly to the sickness.

          Popular opinion doesn’t make it right. And it would be the easiest thing in the world to prove, assuming the vaccine was effective. My getting sick after not being vaccinated is no different than my getting sick because I didn’t get any vitamin C. One is absolutely the product of the other.

          If you don’t get your kid vaccinated, you are putting them at real risk. If that risk results in them getting sick, how is that not negligence? Explain how it is any different than my example of diet. I don’t see any difference.

          1. Popular opinion doesn’t make it right. But laws that are very unpopular and can’t be consistently enforced are a problem too. It seems to me that the only way laws can work well at all in a free-ish society is if most people believe the laws to be just and appropriate.

            The difference is that a poor diet will inevitably lead to problems, where vaccination only reduces the likelihood of infection, which, at the moment at least, is pretty unlikely in any case.

      4. kinnath|2.3.15 @ 11:50AM|#

        Thought experiment: If you refuse to vaccinate your kid, and they later contract a terrible disease, can you be prosecuted for criminal negligence?

        John|2.3.15 @ 11:55AM|#

        Yes. It is depraved indifference.

        The fuck you say?

        Thought experiments: If you allow your child to walk down to the neighborhood playground and they suffer a terrible injruy, can you be rosecuted for criminal negligence?

        There are all fucking sorts of risks in life! Failure to take precautions against risks is not, in and of itself, negligence.

    2. Unlikely, especially given the current rates of the disease together with public opinion. We don’t prosecute parents for driving their kids around (though we do prosecute them for leaving their kids at home, even though the latter is probably more safe; public opinion.)

      Exclusion from public school is on safer and more popular ground.

      1. Unlikely, especially given the current rates of the disease together with public opinion

        The current rates of disease will not remain low if large numbers of people continue to get vaccinated. Your statement is like saying “why do we have to worry about tearing the levy down? We haven’t had a flood in decades.”

        1. I’m responding to a comment, and that it’s unlikely that there would be prosecution of the parents for not vaccinating. With the rate of the disease low, the low chances will make prosecution tenuous, because it will be compared to other more risky things.

          If the rates of the disease increase, then that will be because of shifts in public opinion, and then that public opinion will make it difficult to prosecute.

    3. Possibly more likely than a successful lawsuit for not circumcising one’s son and he then gets HIV or some other STD. (Considering that there are also very rare side effects and also some crazy studies alleging autism.)

    4. We don’t have this as a law (yet). Sadly.

  16. By the way, I remember when every kid in school was lined up and we all got the first oral polio vaccines.

  17. Not really important from a ideological standpoint, but from a practical standpoint, we have refused some vaccines for our kids. Why? Because they wanna give them all at once. It always seems like common sense to me that a very young immune system will have an easier time learning about new pathogens if they are introduced one at a time. Now, with MMR, you don’t have that option, but three at once seemed like plenty. So if I recall correctly, we got the MMR and said no to all the others on the first visit. Then the next time, we’d get one more. Hep C we just plain said no to, there the risks just don’t seem worth the benefits.

    So I’ve had people think I’m an anti-vaxxer before, but I’m not really.

    1. Hep C we just plain said no to

      You must mean Hep B? There is no Hep C vaccine. Hep B falls into the harder to get illnesses (blood and sex), so it’s not recommended for travelers who didn’t get it as children the way that Hep A is. (Unless you’re planning on getting a tattoo or having sex with a prostitute without a condom because, “hey, when am I going to get back to Haiti?”)

      1. Got Hep A and Hep B when I started to travel to Moscow back in the 90’s. I wasn’t worried about sex, but if you’ve ever been in a Russian taxi cab, you would worry about the possibility of seeing a little blood 😉

      2. Ya, which ever Hep was only blood and sex. Our pediatrician wanted to vaccinate for that. Made no sense to me.

    2. There isn’t much truth to this concern. The vast majority of the antibodies your children develop are not from vaccines. They mostly come from exposure to a host of thing. Airborne crap. Soil bacteria from playing in the dirt (a huge one). They are exposed to a huge number of strains simultaneously in these cases. The human immune system is very effective and can withstand an onslaught by a huge number of things simultaneously. It’s the rare pathogen that’s able to get through all of our protections.

      It’s also worth noting that the vast majority of vaccinations are performed with dead or severely weakened pathogens, so it’s very unlikely to get an infection from it. So, even with these few that have learned how to get past our defenses, the immune system is not getting close to a full assault during a vaccination.

      1. Except doctors are currently giving the maximum they are ethically allowed to give. They have a chart to make sure they don’t overlap the number they are giving.

        The current method is not the best method of giving vaccines to a child. It is the method that is most likely to result in a child getting all the vaccines. Doctors found that spreading them out meant people were less likely to get the later ones, so they maximized the amount they give at once.

        It is better for your child to get them spread out if you make sure to go back and get the later ones.

        1. I think there is a lot of truth to this, as stated by the OP in the case of Hep. I have a serious problem justifying a Hep B vaccine for a 5 hour old child. While I would not call myself anti vaccine, I would say that I take every claim made by pharmaceutical companies and by extension, the government agencies that they buy out with a grain of salt.

        2. To Illocust’s response, I can see your point. There may be better ways to give the vaccines. However, I’m not necessarily convinced that medical ethics standards mean anything. As a researcher outside of the medical community (but in biotech), I find the pace of adoption of new medical techniques appallingly slow. The medical community is notoriously conservative in adopting new treatment standards, often due to regulatory concerns. I recently saw a large-scale study which estimates that there are orders of magnitude more deaths due to slow FDA approval of life-saving drugs than there are preventable deaths from not enough clinical trials (the reason the FDA exists). I guess the point is that what is allowed by professional ethics/regulatory agencies is likely to be extremely conservative. Just a thought.

      2. So kids used to get these diseases but don’t now because they just had bad luck?

        What the fuck is wrong with you people? Sure most of your immunities don’t come from vaccines. Why do you think that means anything? I have millions of anti-bodies in my system right now. And that won’t do me a damn bit of good if I contract a disease that the ones I have don’t work against. My having anti-bodies won’t make me immune to Ebola or HIV.

        Maybe I am misreading your post. Are you seriously claiming vaccines don’t work?

        1. You are misreading his post. He is saying that there is no harm to getting all vaccines in big batches as opposed to spread out batches. He isn’t speaking to their effectiveness.

          1. Okay. My mistake and my apologies DJK.

            Thanks for pointing that out. Illocust.

            1. No problem. If you read my other posts from this article, you’ll note that I’m strongly pro-vaccination. In this particular post, I’m saying that I don’t believe that there’s any real cause to worry about getting lots of vaccines in short order. Due both to the fact that the immune system naturally takes a much higher load in early childhood (e.g. soil bacteria, etc) and that the vaccines themselves use pathogens that have been significantly attenuated in their ability to cause disease. This particular post is also very much pro-vaccine.

  18. Let’s have a eat you veggies law.I’m sure some parents feed their kids high fat,salt and what ever food.30 days for McDonald’s.

  19. As I’ve said before, this is a self-solving problem. A few crippled McKenzies and dead Jaydens (or whatever rich people name their kids nowadays) in Manhattan Beach will do more for vaccination rates than all the laws in the world.

  20. There is one group that overwhelmingly supports making vaccines mandatory: Scientists themselves.

    I am a scientist (that is, a PhD and professor with numerous publications and active memberships in societies like AAAS) and neither vaccinate my kids nor wish to use the force of government to make other people do so. Nevertheless, I am not surprised to find that my colleagues wish to impose “science” on the stupid masses for their own good, while likely opting out themselves because they earned their exemption by being responsible citizens in some self-defined regard.

    My $0.02 is that “science” is being thrown around here. Gravity is science in that you expect something to fall down and not up when released from rest. This happens 100% of the time. Medicine and vaccines are science in that the same method is applied in seeking results, but the resulting models that are constructed in medicine are statistical in nature. That is, a given vaccine is _expected_ to fail 10% of the time and is _expected_ to permanently damage you 2% of the time. Any person should be free to judge if they like those odds. If I was told that my kid had a 0.01% chance of surviving a cancer diagnosis, I should hope that society would let me live in that 0.01% – if not, then vaccine mandates are no different than death panels: drawing a line through the stats and making the decision for you.

    1. Appealing to generic “scientists” as authority on anything is silly. Unless you are talking about their particular field of study, the view of a randomly selected scientist is no more authoritative than the view of a random accountant or bus driver.

    2. If you think vaccines don’t work, you are not much of a scientist. Why do kids no longer get polio other than because of vaccines? Did kids in the 20s just have bad luck? Were the Gods angry at them?

      The proof is in the effects of vaccines. People used to die by the millions from Small Pox. They don’t anymore. Hundreds of thousands of kids were left crippled or dead from Polio. That doesn’t happen anymore.

      That is because of vaccines. If you really don’t vaccinate your kids, you are a dangerous moron. You are frankly too stupid to deserve to live in the modern world. Go back to bast where they burned witches and used leeches. It will be more conducive to your level of intelligence.

      1. John, I did not mention my PhD in order to pull rank on you, I mentioned it because professional scientists were mentioned in the post: relax.

        And, I didn’t say that vaccines don’t work, I said that they don’t work all of the time. Anyone who disagrees with that statement is not much of a scientist. Consider this: wars work most of the time, just look at history. We’ve won wars because, as you say, we burned the witches with God on our side. So, let’s mandate wars. Sure, some people get hurt in wars, but the odds that _you_ will step on a land mine or get shot are vanishingly small, so only a dangerous moron would object to serving in whatever war the government says is necessary. Conscription into the herd is just common sense at this day in age when we have the benefit of history to show what a great idea wars are. I don’t see Nazis running around any more than I see kids with polio. Any moral objections that you have to war are irrelevant compared to the greater societal good that is served by the war. Any personal objections that you have to being harmed in the effort are _irrelevant_ compared to the value of the stated goal.

        You don’t have to be a technophobe to not want an injection any more than you don’t have to be coward to not want to fight a war: maybe the dangerous morons are the ones who volunteer based on someone else’s promises.

    3. Thank you.

      It’s depressing that in all this squawk about vaccinations, you’re the only guy who has identified the elements of the relevant cost benefit calculation.

      Of course, I have a PhD in EE, specializing in machine learning and probabilistic modeling. Our shared and specialized experience doesn’t bode well for a generally intelligent discussion, or generally intelligent decisions being made.

      It’s not like identifying the probabilities of the possible outcomes with and without a vaccine intervention is that complicated conceptually, but I don’t see it happening.

      In the end, I’m with you, and would allow parents to decide. It’s not like the decisions government makes for us can be expected to be based on an appropriate cost benefit analysis either.

    4. Even those with a PhD can be a fucking moron and you’ve proven this.

      I hope your kids don’t die, and I hope for you fucking sake they don’t get sick, infect a child who can’t be vaccinated for a legitimate reason and that child dies.

    5. You know who else supported making vaccines mandatory? People who were around when vaccines were not common or were still be invented because they saw the world without vaccines and saw how vaccines changed the lives of families.

  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NciXSnb2n6A
    No government agency should ever have the right to force you to buy a product which is exempt from all product liability and inject it into your body.

    1. You’re a fucking moron. I’m guessing if your kid infected someone else’s child who can’t be vaccinated for actual legitimate reasons you would shrug your shoulders.

      Fuck your politics, this is about lives.

      1. If your kid gave my kid the flu, chicken pox, measles, etc. I would shrug my shoulders. And my kid can no longer be vaccinated, he has seizures from one of the ingredients found in all vaccines, polysorbate. It’s in a lot of food too. I’ve been ostracized by 8 pediatricians over it until I’ve found one compassionate one. Pediatricians don’t want him for fear of my otherwise healthy partially vaccinated autistic kid is akin to the plague here in North Carolina. They think an unvaccinated/partially vaccinated kid = the plague even with a medical exemption/reason.

      2. You’re a fucking moron.

        Because ad hominems are effective, completely logical arguments…

        I’m guessing if your kid infected someone else’s child who can’t be vaccinated for actual legitimate reasons you would shrug your shoulders.

        My kid can only infect someone else’s if AND ONLY if he is infectious and I still sent him to [institution]. Vaccination status is irrelevant.

        Hint: Even the vaccinated can catch and/or spread the disease. Link.

  22. Apparently young people are idiots and can’t or won’t even look just a couple generations back, say the Great Generation, where children died, lots of children from lack of vaccines.

    We need to get our remaining Great Generation people to sit down and share their stories about polio, about mumps, whooping cough, and the other diseases we have vaccines for. To talk about how children dying or being disabled by disease was a common occurrence.

    Fuck the idiots of GenX, my generation, and the millennials who won’t take a few hours to fucking educate themselves about why vaccines have changed the god damn world for the better.

    Fuck anyone who suggests there should be a choice in this matter, because you too have fucking forgot what it was like before vaccines or worse, you don’t give a flying fuck if your kid dies or worse yet, causes someone else’s kid to die.

    1. Fuck anyone who suggests there should be a choice in this matter, because you too have fucking forgot what it was like before vaccines or worse, you don’t give a flying fuck if your kid dies or worse yet, causes someone else’s kid to die.

      Fuck you, and your ad hominems too, Slaver!

    2. Exactly!

    3. The people refusing vaccines for their children are the more educated and wealthy free thinking individuals who have gone against the grain of conformity. Government and healthcare deserve skepticism because the freedoms of the press have failed us miserably. To forcibly mandate vaccines into a totalitarian government would understandably further distance citizen’s trust.

    4. Who would be the “Great Generation? And, please refrain from the foul language. It takes away from an intelligent conversation. And, remember you will be conversing with someone who is 65 years old, so please be respectful.

  23. Would we be having this discussion if the more general word “drugs” were substituted for “vaccines” in the news?

  24. Excuse me, but it is irrational to compare measles with polio. Can’t anyone make distinctions any more? Measles is certainly no more harmful than the flu and we don’t require everyone to get the flu vaccine. People should be allowed to decide for themselves. You say young people are too young to remember polio. Apparently the writer is too young to remember when everyone got the measles and 99.9% showed no ill effects from it. This measles nonsense is an excuse to indoctrinate people with the idea that one MUST get the ever expanding list of vaccines. And please don’t question the authorities, especially the great god science.

    1. Lets see. Believe you and your claims or believe the generations of people who worked on a measles vaccine for reasons that included preventing their children from dying. Children like you and me.

      Well fuck me, I’ll believe the people who actually saw the effect of measles and not some vacuous moron like you who thinks because you ignore history means it didn’t happen.

      1. My parents had mumps and measles. They didn’t think it was that bad. Polio is a different case. I’m not arguing that vaccines are bad, we have the freedom to vaccinate/not vaccinate in many states and most parents will still choose the vaccinate route.
        Please remember vaccines also kill people with immune deficiencies. I have a friend with an organ transplant and he had to take drugs to lower his immunity so his body doesn’t reject the organ, when my son was vaccinated we weren’t allowed near him or we could have killed him.

  25. Are you disappointed because it reduces his support by 7 in 10, or because you don’t want him to support the rights of parents? His position on this issue is absolutely correct, and rational (and, he’s both a doctor and a parent).
    I find the blind trust in “science” to be rather strange, given the history we have with the government-science complex. I, myself, am not qualified to look into a microscope or research who is correct, so I have to go with freedom on this one.
    I’ve heard vaccine questioners refer to the “science” as “tobacco science” which it certainly sounds like. That’s enough for me to want to reserve this for individuals to decide, since they are the ones who have to live with the consequences.
    I also find it interesting that big-pharma is now government protected from lawsuits.
    Maybe there’s a genetic predisposition and one bad vaccine amongst good ones that occasionally is a problem. I don’t know.
    Full disclosure: I not only survived 2 kinds of measles, chicken-pox, whooping cough, mumps and influenza, but I caught them at government school and infected my three siblings, and they’re alive and well, too. This issue does not rise to the level of hysteria that justifies government intervention.

  26. Should influenza and shingles vaccines be mandatory ?

    If not , whose wisdom do you trust to decide which to enforce with the bureaucracies and guns and prisons of the State ?

    1. I’m not sure I fully comprehend your argument. Are you saying that those who say no will lead us into a police state? Now that I think about it, that is a good point, and entirely plausible.

  27. Guess I am yet again proving how little I really fit in with Millennials (do people born in Nov. 87 count as millennials?).

  28. Herd immunity is vital. It prevents the propagation of contagious diseases. One such disease is authoritarian propaganda. It causes the degeneration and failure of our freedom. We can vaccinate ourselves with a healthy dose of skepticism. Skepticism has its risks, but overall the benefits far outweigh the risks.
    Parents should make the decision to vaccinate their children. There is enough evidence to show that the risks of not vaccinating are far greater than any possible risks of vaccination. But they should do it as a decision, not as blind acceptance of the authority of others. Pediatricians should be seen as advocates for their patients, not as instruments of an intrusive government. Political advocacy erodes medical trust.
    To my fellow physicians:
    The problem is not that parents do not trust vaccines.
    The problem is that parents do not trust us.
    Let’s work on that. #VotesNotForSale

  29. I’m 65 years old and I definitely feel parents have the first and last say so as to what Medical Procedures will be administered to their children. No Medical procedure is immune to danger and that includes vaccines, as we are all very much aware, some of us more than others, sorry to say. Intolerance is an ugly thing and there is too much of that going around right now. People need to back off and tend to their own business and leave others to tend to theirs.

  30. == HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ==
    According to this paper there were an average of approximately 530,000 cases of the measles reported annually for the decade leading up to the measles vaccine (1953 – 1962). Wow! That sure looks like a big number.

    But let’s put it into perspective. According to this source the population in 1953 (the lowest of the decade, so the bigger numbers to come) was 160,184,192. I’ll round it down to 160 million, just to give a more generous result.

    Using the decade average cases, and a population of 160 million, that means that only 0.33125% (that’s one-third of one percent) of the population caught the measles.

    Of that, according to the afore-linked paper, deaths in that period were less than 1 per 1,000 cases, so fewer than 503, but, for the sake of scarier, bigger numbers, I’ll use 503. That means that in 1952 approximately 0.00033125% (that’s one-third of one-thousandths of one percent) of the population died from the measles.

    In perspective, those are miniscule numbers. And with todays’ medicine… arguably far more advanced than between ’53 and ’62… complications and death are far less likely.

    So… why are so many people absolutely losing their shit in irrational, abject terror of the current outbreaks of the measles?

  31. Dear Reader,

    Some, on nearly all of these vaccine-related articles, have suggested that a “libertarian” alternative… compromise?… to mandatory vaccination would be holding the voluntarily unvaccinated civily liable, in one manner or another, for the damages caused by spreading a disease. This proposition is patently intellectually dishonest.

    Before I continue, it must be noted that healthy, non-infectious people, regardless of their vaccination status, do not spread the diseases for which vaccinations exist. Only infectious people spread those diseases.

    The proposition on liability is intellectually dishonest, first, because it gives a pass to the involuntarily unvaccinated (those that are medicaly unable to be vaccinated). The fact that they did not choose to be unvaccinated does not matter. They are functionally identical to the voluntarily unvaccinated. In other words, the unvaccinated are unvaccinated regardless of “why”.

    You cannot, with any intellectual integrity, hold the voluntary liable for damages caused by getting sick and infecting others while excusing the involuntary of liability when they get sick and infect others. Declaring the former “guilty” and/or “liable” and the latter “innocent” for the exact same act [getting sick and infecting others] is simply not logically or ethically consistent. Either both are guilty, or neither are guilty.

    [continued below]

  32. [continued from above]

    This proposition also grants a pass to the vaccinated. For the exact same reason as above, it too is logically inconsistent and, therefore, intellectually dishonest. It would hold one group (the unvaccinated) liable for damages caused by getting sick and infecting others while excusing another group (the vaccinated) for the exact same thing.

    In terms of damages caused by spreading a disease, it does not matter what was done, or not, to avoid getting sick and/or becoming infectious. What matters are the precautions taken to avoid infecting others after becoming infectious. Thus, it is intellectually dishonest to hold the voluntarily unvaccinated to a higher standard of liability for not taking a precaution against getting sick, ignoring precautions they may take if/when they are infectious, while simultaneously, blanketly excusing the others.

    The only intellectually consistent and honest approach is to hold everyone, regardless of vaccination status, liable for damages caused by spreading a disease when they are infectious.

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