Vaccines

Rand Paul Fails Parents and Kids of Every Political Persuasion by Offering Weak Support for Vaccines

Paul says benefits outweigh risks, but he unfortunately didn't leave it at that.

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Konstantin Yuganov/Dreamstime

Measles cases number 206 so far this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The biggest outbreak—71 cases—is in Clark County, Washington, where the vast majority those who have fallen ill were unvaccinated children.

At a Senate hearing yesterday, 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger of Norwalk, Ohio, testified that after reading the scientific data, he decided to finally get himself immunized against the wishes of his anti-vaccine mother. At the same Senate hearing, Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) noted, "I've vaccinated myself and I've vaccinated my kids. For myself and my children I believe that the benefits of vaccines greatly outweighing the risks."

That's the message a respected and responsible physician who knows the scientific evidence should be providing to the American people. Unfortunately, Paul didn't leave it there.

"Now proponents of mandatory government vaccination argue that parents who refuse to vaccinate their children risk spreading these diseases to immunocompromised community," Paul said. "There doesn't seem to be enough evidence of this happening to be recorded as a statistic." Paul added, "It is wrong to say that there are no risks to vaccines. Even the government admits that children are sometimes injured by vaccines."

Paul does a disservice to his constituents and concerned parents with these two claims. He should have pointed out many folks have for years been misled by a fraudulent 1998 article in The Lancet suggesting a link between the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and autism. That article was retracted in 2011 and the principal investigator lost his medical license.

And in fact, there are at least 10 million immunocompromised Americans (e.g., those being treated with chemotherapy for cancer, taking medications for chronic illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, living with organ transplants, or suffering from HIV/AIDS) who are at risk of infection from people who refuse to protect themselves and their families from vaccine-preventable diseases. In 2015, an immunocompromised woman died of measles in Washington State after she had been at a hospital at the same time as a patient who later developed a rash and was diagnosed with measles. "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic," Joseph Stalin once reportedly quipped. The death of the Washington woman may not be a statistic, but it was a preventable tragedy.

When Paul references the government's own acknowledgement of the risks posed by vaccination, he might be referring to data from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) that was set up by the federal government in the 1980s to prevent predatory tort lawsuits from destroying the vaccine industry. The VICP reports that from 2006 to 2017, over 3.4 billion doses of covered vaccines were distributed in the U.S. During that same period, 6,094 petitions for compensation were filed and, of those, 4,172 petitioners were compensated. This means for every one million doses of vaccine that were distributed, one individual was compensated.

It is also worth noting that "almost 80 percent of all compensation awarded by the VICP comes as result of a negotiated settlement between the parties in which HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] has not concluded, based upon review of the evidence, that the alleged vaccine(s) caused the alleged injury."

We can also contrast the VICP data with the toll of injuries and deaths caused by measles before vaccines became available in 1962. Annual measles cases averaged 530,000, of which 48,000 were hospitalized and 450 of those infected died. A 1985 study by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist in the journal Pediatrics estimated that the first 20 years of measles vaccination in the U.S. had prevented 52 million cases, 5,200 deaths, and 17,400 cases of mental retardation.

In that same vein, an 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, for example, there were about 21,000 cases of the disease each year, 1,800 of them leading to death. No cases or deaths from the disease were recorded in 2006. Whooping cough saw around 200,000 cases and 4,000 deaths annually. In 2006, there were nearly 16,000 cases and only 27 deaths. Polio once averaged around 16,000 annual cases and 1,900 deaths. No cases were recorded in 2006. The number of Rubella cases dropped from 48,000 to 17, and the number of deaths dropped from 17 to zero.

These are the sort of data that likely persuaded Lindenberger to protect himself and others through vaccination. We should be troubled when an 18-year-old with no scientific training proves a more enthusiastic and informed witness to the benefits of modern medicine than a seasoned medical doctor. And yet that is where we are. On Monday, a comprehensive new study further backed up Lindenberger's views on the safety and benefits of vaccination. A team of Danish physicians analyzed the health data on more than 650,000 Danish kids who had been immunized against using the MMR vaccine. The researchers report that their "study strongly supports that MMR vaccination does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and is not associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination."

A responsible senator and physician should also have been highlighting those data, instead of kowtowing to anti-vaccination fearmongers. After all, if Paul thinks that vaccination is good enough for his family, he should be explaining to other families how he reached that conclusion, rather than providing them with additional reasons to endanger their own children.

For more background, see Reason's debate, "Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?"


*UPDATE: Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) on March 7 submitted the following response:

How sad that a magazine that purports to extoll individual choice editorializes against choice in vaccines. I wonder if there is any point at which a patient should get to choose their treatment. Deciding whether or not to have a medical treatment injected into your body sounds like it might involve personal choice. The government now requires over 71 vaccines administered in 53 injections. Forty-eight of these vaccines are required before age 6.

What if the government decides that 'public health' requires 241 vaccines in 170 injections? Would that be OK? Are libertarians really OK with letting the government dictate what diseases you must be vaccinated for and when? Really? To those who justify coercion in the name of public health, be forewarned that the security you think you get when you exchange your liberty often turns out not to be that secure, and the small amount of liberty you offer up is greedily gobbled up by government until your original offering of liberty becomes much greater than you intended.

For those with open minds, I offer my unedited remarks, that actually are quite tempered, pro-vaccine, and pro-freedom:

For much of modern history, science and freedom have lived in relative harmony.

Traditionally, as medical discoveries came about, like the smallpox or Polio vaccine, antisepsis, or antibiotics, the results were so overwhelming that, over time, the vast majority of the public accepted these advances voluntarily.

In fact, innovations like the smallpox vaccine had to overcome initially great public prejudice.

Dr. Zabdiel Boylston learned about the Middle Eastern technique from his servant, for the famous pastor Cotton Mather. His first patient was actually his son, an incredibly brave choice.

The consensus of the medical community, though, was entirely opposed to him at the time. The vaccine was a live vaccine, and as Dr. Boylston learned, about one in fifty of those inoculated would die from the vaccine. And yet, the death rate from smallpox was approximately 50 percent.

The government did not mandate the vaccine, though, but within two generations it was accepted enough that George Washington insisted that Martha be vaccinated with the smallpox vaccine before visiting him in the military camps.

Today, though, instead of persuasion, many governments have taken to mandating a whole host of vaccines, including vaccines for non-lethal diseases.

Sometimes these vaccine mandates have run amok, as when the government mandated a rotavirus vaccine that was later recalled because it was causing intestinal blockage in children.

I'm not a fan of government coercion, yet given the choice, I do believe that the benefits of most vaccines vastly outweigh the risks.

Yet, it is wrong to say that there are no risks to vaccines. Even the government admits that children are sometimes injured by vaccines. Since 1988, over $4 billion has been paid out from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Despite the government admitting to and paying $4 billion for vaccine injuries, no informed consent is used or required when you vaccinate your child. This may be the only medical procedure in today's medical world where an informed consent is not required.

Now proponents of mandatory government vaccination argue that parents who refuse to vaccinate their children risk spreading these diseases to the immunocompromised community.

There doesn't seem to be enough evidence of this happening to be recorded as a statistic, but it could happen. But if the fear of this is valid, are we to find that next we'll be mandating flu vaccines?

Between 12,000 and 56,000 people die from the flu or are said to die from the flu in America, and there's estimated to be a few hundred from measles. So I would guess that those who want to mandate the measles [vaccine] will be after us on the flu next.

Yet the current science only allows for 'educated guessing' when it comes to the flu vaccine. Each year, before that year's flu strain is known, scientists put their best guess into that year's vaccine. Some years, it's completely wrong; we vaccinate for the wrong strain of flu.

Yet five states already mandate flu vaccines. Is it really appropriate to mandate a vaccine that more often than not vaccinates for the wrong flu strain?"

As we contemplate forcing parents to choose this or that vaccine, I think it's important to remember that force is not consistent with the American story, nor is force consistent with the liberty our forefathers sought when they came to America.

I don't think you have to have one or the other, though. I'm not here to say "don't vaccinate your kids." If this hearing is for persuasion, I'm all for the persuasion. I vaccinated myself. I vaccinated my kids.

For myself and my children, I believe that the benefits of vaccines greatly outweigh the risks, but I still do not favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security.

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218 responses to “Rand Paul Fails Parents and Kids of Every Political Persuasion by Offering Weak Support for Vaccines

  1. Paul basically said “my body- my choice”. You got a problem with that all of sudden Bailey?

    1. Uh, my body my right to infect you is not a choice anyone should be allowed to make.

      1. Agreed. Also, you have to wear a seat belt because everyone needs to pay for cleaning you up when you crash your car.

        1. “The statists are coming from in the house!”

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        2. Yes… If vaccines are SOOOO wonderfully perfect and good, you go ahead and get vaccinated, and me and my cat and dog and fish and parakeet who are NOT vaccinated? Me and my cat and dog and fish and parakeet who are NOT vaccinated, we are NOT going to matter to you and your immunized state of bliss, in your perfect state of invulnerability!

          And if you’re going to argue otherwise… You sound like a collectivist to me!

          1. I was being sarcastic, but I would like to learn more about your unvaccinated fish

            1. My unvaccinated fish is a fundamentalist Amish fish! Can you say Amish-fish, Amish-fish, Amish-fish, really-really-really fast?!??!

              1. Does he have a funny beard on his chinny chin chin?

              2. Also thish:

                I wish for Amish fish,
                With a big swish-swish,
                Of my Amish-fish wish dish!

          2. But no one can EVER cough up the change to do a proper epidemiological study of the Old Order Amish and vaccines or lack thereof!!! See http://www.ageofautism.com/201…..t-now.html … Unvaccinated Children and Autism: Study Funding Needed Right Now

            The theory that I have read is that it is not “vaccines” per se, it is the fact that 8-month-olds get SLAMMED by 35,000 trace vaccines at the same time!!! It would be more expensive to give them fewer vaccines spaced out over more time, but NO ONE (especially not Government Almighty) wants to fund the study to see if this is true, because vaccine MFGs would get SLAMMED by endless lawsuits, if a link (to autism) was found!

            So we just do NOT want to know… NO ONE will cough up the $1 million or so to pay for a proper study of the Amish!

            Ignorance is bliss!!!!

            1. I always heard the logic behind all the vaccines at once was that no one trusted parents to come back for more vaccines later, so they cram in the most allowed during one visit.

              1. What you have heard might very well be right… And to me, the idea is disturbing. Government Almighty has NO finesse, and will NOT consider “unintended consequences” of the Government Almighty hammer!!! The hammer must ALWAYS be applied to the max possible!

                “While we’re at it, let’s hammer them as hard as we can get away with”.

            2. S: You may interested in this fascinating new study on polygenic risk scores for autism spectrum disorders. Interestingly some gene combinations are associated with higher IQs and greater educational attainment.

              As I have reported earlier, the risk of autism is associated with having high IQ parents. For example, in one study the relative risks of having an autistic child is 4-times greater for college-graduate than for nonhigh-school graduate parents.

              Given those data, being anti-vaxx may at least suggest that one’s children are in much less danger of turning out autistic in any case. Just saying.

              1. Thanks for the link Ron! Being a fan of Sciencedaily.com, I still somehow missed that one…

                “Genius is akin to madness” they have said for a very-very long time… The genes at the root of both may be credited / blamed, for all we know… Else, WHY would these genes be lingering and hanging out, after all this time?

                I just wish that somebody somewhere would cough up the cash for a good, detailed, honest epidemiological study on the Amish and vaccines and autism though…

                1. I’ve never heard the quote “genius is akin to madness,” but it makes some sense.

                  I’ve known a few people who had schizophrenia, and heard about a few more known by others, and every single one ?? f them was described as being very intelligent before they started displaying symptoms. They also usually have high-IQ siblings or parents.

                  I don’t think that holds true for other types of mental illness, but at least anecdotalally, it’s there for schizophrenia. Of course, autism is not the same thing, nor do I think it’s classified as a mental illness.

                  1. Many mental disorders have high rates of coincidence with other disorders. Schizophrenia is one of those and in particular is associated with autism. It’s a relatively new field of research but fairly illuminating.

              2. So obvious – it’s IQ! Certainly not age-related.

            3. Your immune system is challenged by thousands to millions of antigens per day. Vaccines are statistically insignificant to your immune system.

              1. Millions of cars pass each other every day; catastrophic collisions are statistically insignificant to the highway system. This is why you shouldn’t buckle your seatbelt.

                1. 0x1000 Also, not buckling only hurts yourself; it doesn’t hurt others, or at least the odds of it hurting others aren’t that great. I do, however, support laws that force adults to buckle their kids in the car.

              2. Millions of antigens…mixed w adjuvants?

          3. Some people cannot get vaccinated due to weakened immune systems, etc. There is no right to infect those people. Learn about herd immunity. I love Rand Paul, but he’s dead wrong here. A doctor should have more sense.

            The state DOES have the job to protect me from you.

            1. False. You have the right to wear a mask and take other precautions. You don’t have the right to roll the dice with my health.

              1. You getting a vaccine doesn’t “roll the dice with your health.” You NOT getting a vaccine can and does roll the dice with other people’s health.

                1. Most people are too young to remember the horrors of all those diseases that vaccination has helped stop.

                  I am not for ford pong them on anyone, but there are good reasons to get vaccinated.

              2. . “You don’t have the right to roll the dice with my health.” Malarkey! That argument is so wide and vague, you can drive a Mack truck through the holes, and the gubbamint will take full advantage of said holes. I cant wait til Im forced to stay home by ‘men with guns’ agencies and then forced to take anti biotics harmful to my gut flora to boot! Yippie!

            2. Congratulations, you just made Tony cream his pants as this will become his go to for why we should outlaw guns.

              1. It’s not the same thing. People have control over how they use guns, and most people use them responsibly. Furthermore, there is a legitimate reason to own guns. People have no control over spreading diseases.

          4. SQRLSY One, read the article. Bailey explains in detail how refusing to get vaccinated can cause harm to others.

            1. I would think the unvaccinated fish might tip you off to the joke.

              1. Is it really that easy to distinguish between serious crazy Libertarianism and funny crazy Libertarianism? How many years of training are required to be sure?

                1. Trust your gut. Just like in real life, there’s (at the end of the day as they say) not much else that you can do.

                  Good luck!!!

                  (PS, at least in this case, Government Almighty does NOT YET require 10,000 course hours and licenses and certifications, before you are allowed to make a “gut call” to differentiate the serious crazy Libertarianism from the funny crazy Libertarianism).

        3. Just Say’n, that’s a weak comparison. And simply change the laws so that everyone doesn’t need to pay for cleaning you up. Charge the person who didn’t wear the seat belt to pay 100% of the cost.

      2. So am I required to go to the doctor whenever I get sick and use anti-biotics?

        1. Yes, and we should quarantine everyone that gets the flu!

          1. And make them eat only broccoli and oatmeal.

        2. Kevin47, you’re not required, but you should try staying away from people.

          1. Staying away from others is a good idea, perhaps so good an idea it should be mandatory, no? After all you yourself said in another comment “liberty doesn’t mean the right to infect others” Many more people infect others with the flu than with measles, why should they get a pass?

            1. It shouldn’t be mandatory to stay home simply because I don’t know how such a law would be enforced. But how about holding people financially liable if they spread a disease due to negligent behavior and it can be proven in a civil trial? If someone dies due to the disease, then maybe the offending party should have to fork over a ton of money.

      3. WORST ARG*MENT EVAH!

      4. “My right to get high and have other deleterious effects on society is okay though.”
        You’re either okay with this reasoning or you aren’t.

      5. Expose all babies to all viruses asap.
        The strong shall survive.

        Note: my perspective comes from a bit of immune system privilege – it’s pretty good.
        But I had chicken pix, monopoly, other stuff as a kid.
        Got h1n1 in my 20s, didn’t go to doctor, had 102+ degree fever for like 48-72 hours. Got better. Rarely get flu now.
        Work with people who are often sick. I pity them, but can’t really relate

      6. If you’re vaccinated you won’t have a concern about being infected.

        My problem with vaccines is:
        1) I don’t trust the pharmaceutical industry. They cherry pick data and understate potential harm.
        2) They get the gov’t to subsidize their vaccines – that’s good business for them.
        3) they get the gov’t to require everyone get vaccinated. Also good for business – especially when it’s subsidized.
        4) They get the gov’t to shield them from law suits – great for the bottom line.
        5) I think it’s wrong to vaccinate a new born with the plethora of vaccines they shot into them.

        I don’t think all vaccines are bad, I question many, as well as their necessity.
        Want to change my mind, increase my trust in the institutions that are looking out for us and not business interest.

    2. Bailey is an embarrassment to libertarians everywhere and should stop calling himself one. Anyone that calls for mandatory immunizations is a statist asshole. And I say that as someone that fully believes in vaccinations.

        1. Exactly. People should be forcibly locked up and made to take antibiotics or whatever the state decides is best for them. Chipper’s right, you are an embarrassment.

        2. You mean like going to the store with a cold, texting while driving, riding on a rented scooter, giving a neighbor a cooked dish that wasn’t inspected by a government agent, driving an SUV, owning a pitbull, or any of the other myriad activities that do not initiate aggression but may raise the risk to someone else by a miniscule amount?

          1. CMW: Let me see if I get this right. Real libertarians are not responsible for killing people when their texting while driving causes a crash; or when they hit someone on the sidewalk while wobbling on their rented scooter; or causing food poisoning to their neighbors; or crashing their SUV into a school; or when their darling pit bull rips a kid’s face off? Really?

            And if you do have a cold, please stay home and take care of yourself.

            1. No, what’s anti-libertarian, Ron, is advocating for using government force to prevent people from doing things you disapprove of. There is no libertarian argument here. Just stop.

              1. M: Prevent people from doing things I disapprove of – like endangering the lives and health of others?

                1. Might have a chat with your peers about the inherent risk associated with promiscuity required by the prostitution industry and the increased inherent risk of their preferred partners and sex acts.

                  For the guy who wrote End Of Doom and rails against the precautionary principle, this obsession with eliminating marginal risk seems antithetic.

                  1. mad.casual Sex is voluntary. Nice try.

                    1. mad.casual Sex is voluntary.

                      Vaccination is voluntary. Bailey’s stance is that we should be eliminating marginal risks whether the people participating in those activities consent or not. If there’s even a chance a prostitute or a homosexual

                      Also, there’s a somewhat significant problem (or several) today that sex isn’t voluntary or is ‘voluntary’. It’s *mutually voluntary*. Meaning it runs the gamut from being rape on the one end to involuntary celibacy on the other while still being ‘voluntary’. You could be having sex with someone under the presumption that they’re STD free and discover later that your consent was given under false pretenses. Bailey’s premise: the risk must be eliminated and the *only* way to avoid such a risk would be to ban the behavior.

                    2. mad.casual My point is that a person who dates someone who’s a prostitute or an adult entertainment actor knows what he/she is getting into, and there’s always the choice to use protection or to even ask your partner to take a blood test before having sex with him/her. You mentioned rape, but rape is already illegal. Lying to your sex partner about whether or not you have STD’s is also a crime, especially if it’s HIV. So there are already ways to minimize those risks without taking away people’s liberty.

                      On the other hand, nobody who goes out in public is volunteering to catch a contagious disease from someone else. For the sake of those who are unable to get vaccinated, it makes sense to make vaccinations for airborne diseases as mandatory as you possibly can to protect those people. Having to get vaccinated is a very minor inconvenience, so I would say the right not to be infected outweighs the right not to get vaccinated.

                2. I would be endangering others’ lives to a much higher degree by driving in the rain than by refusing a flu vaccine.

                  1. I think this is one of those issues where the general public thinks libertarians (or at least the most extreme kind) are nuts. These would be the same kind of libertarians who think you shouldn’t need a license to drive a car.

                3. Correct Ron. Wanting to use government force to prevent people from renting scooters or owning certain breeds of dogs is inherently anti-libertarian. Glad we cleared that up and that I could alleviate your massive confusion.

                  Maybe you should stary calling yourself a “quasi-small government social engineer” or some other such nonsense instead of a libertarian.

                  1. MIthrandir Is it anti-libertarian to ban drunk driving or texting while driving? No, because those things cause harm to others. Same thing with not getting vaccinated.

                    1. Vince I guess nuance isn’t your strong suit. What is the probability of a non-vaccinated child getting sick AND passing on the contagion to an already vaccinated child? 1%, maybe less?

                      Now do the same for drunk driving. What is the probability of a drunk driver causing harm to someone else? I would guess more than 1%, and the relative levels of harm aren’t even close to equatable.

                      Do you think people should not be allowed to drive in inclement weather because there is a non-zero chance someone could be killed?

                      As I stated lower down, I’m okay with public schools requiring vaccination as long as there are private school options for those who want to abstain. I oppose a carte blanche forced vaccination for all citizens in all cases for the same reason I would oppose the government mandating healthier diets.

                    2. I would say the risk to the population if you don’t get vaccinated greatly outweighs the risk and inconvenience to you of having to get vaccinated. I doubt that’s the case when it comes to banning driving in inclement weather. If people can’t go out, that’s one hell of an inconvenience.

                      And what exactly are the percentages of danger when it comes to driving in inclement weather?

                4. Your argument is the same presented for all Govt violence, Ron. I support vaccines, but through education and free market liabilities, not Govt nannyism and force.

                5. Ron Bailey You are so far out to lunch on this its scary. I’ve been reading your material for a while, I find it hard to believe you write for a libertatian publication. This smacks of many of the things libertarians fear; government and undue influence on that government in the form of $$$ (CDC et al., plus big pharm).

                  1. “libertatian” publication

                6. “Prevent people from doing things I disapprove of – like endangering the lives and health of others?”

                  Yea, there’s a lot that can go wrong here…

            2. Ron, are you being obtuse on purpose? Of course you are responsible for killing people while texting and driving. That does not mean a libertarian should support banning texting while driving. Of course you are responsible for hitting someone with a scooter. That does not mean a libertarian should support banning scooters. And so on.

              1. Chipper Morning Wood, I see nothing wrong with banning texting while driving, and I am a libertarian. Texting while driving or driving while drunk is way more dangerous than simply riding a scooter.

        3. CMW: Real libertarians don’t go around endangering other people’s health and lives.

          Between open borders and artisanal mayo, they certainly aren’t shy about playing fast and loose with risk to others from time to time.

        4. Real Libertarians also don’t lie about vaccines injuring people, which does in fact happen, and has zero to do with the autism scare or the Lancet.

          I happen to think Paul has the true Libertarian position: be honest about it all, benefits outweigh the risks, don’t force anyone, but those who choose not to may forfeit certain privileges in society

        5. CMW: Real libertarians don’t go around endangering other people’s health and lives.

          For fuck’s sake, I get so tired of this argument.

          An individual being unvaccinated, in and of itself, does not endanger anyone else whatsoever. Infectious individuals, vaccinated (vaccines are not 100% effective) or not, spread diseases.

          This Mom has the right of it: “Parents who send sick kids to school are the reason our healthy kids are getting sick — and it’s just not fair.” Nowhere does she mention vaccinations. Rather, she focuses on sick kids.

          If a “CafeMom” can figure it out, why is it so hard for some Reasonoids?

        6. Were all people who lived before the invention of vaccinations immoral because they didn’t vaccinate? How about in the first decade after the first vaccination? At what time does it become immoral to not vaccinate, when the government says you should or some other line?

          Is it immoral to drink while pregnant?

          (Now, replace all mentions of “immoral” with “an initiation of force” for a more useful discussion.)

          1. Of course it’s immoral to drink while pregnant. That hurts the fetus, who will then have FAS.

            1. How much is it OK to drink?

              (Good luck with that one…)

              Is it OK to drink when you might be pregnant? Trying to get pregnant?

              If giving “the fetus” FAS immoral, then is killing it moral?

            2. (My main point about bringing up the drinking is I doubt Ron would be for governmental force being used against pregnant women who drink. And that’s likely MUCH more likely to do harm than failing to vaccinate.)

        7. Ron, real people dont go around driving because that endangers other people’s lives.

          #1 killer of other people in the USA.

      1. Chipper Morning Wood, liberty doesn’t mean the right to infect others. Furthermore, a parent refusing to vaccinate his child is committing child abuse. Children are not chattel.

        1. That’s, just like, your opinion, man. I have a good friend who didn’t vaccinate his kid and he has a healthy young boy. Go ahead and accuse him of child abuse and see what happens.

          As for the other thing, if you can prove someone directly infected you, I suppose you might have a tort claim against them. But good luck proving that.

        2. “Furthermore, a parent refusing to vaccinate his child is committing child abuse.”

          I like the categorical that doesn’t even consider that some children can’t be vaccinated due to health issues or reactions to the vaccine itself.

          1. gormadoc Of course there are exceptions. However, a parent who refuses to vaccinate children without any legitimate reason is no different than a parent who refuses to have his child treated for cancer. Cancer may be more serious, but it’s the same principle.

        3. Is drinking while pregnant child abuse? How about second hand smoking? How about living in (true) poverty? How about voting for (insert political party here) in front of the child?

          1. ace_m82 To answer your questions. Yes. No. Second hand smoking is nowhere near as dangerous as drinking while pregnant. Living in poverty is not a crime. Your last question isn’t serious, I hope.

            1. Ah, so it’s a question of how dangerous it is, right? So, there’s a number there where the odds become “too much” and is “child abuse”. Are you sure that failing to vaccinate the child reaches those odds? Are you sure it’s more dangerous than these other things I’ve mentioned? Are you absolutely sure your number is the “correct” number?

              My last question is serious. Voting for government control-freaks and letting your child know that COULD be the most abusive thing done to the little one. Voting for those who steal and murder and supporting those people seems like abuse to me.

              Or is my number different from yours?

      2. Bailey may be a disgrace to libertarians, but he is in idol to clickbait artists.

      3. Chipper Morning Wood, this is one of those issues (like abortion, death penalty, and immigration) where libertarians can have a disagreement. Not every issue is black and white. There are arguments both ways.

    3. If you poop on my shoes. I sure as “shit” expect you to pay for a replacement. Herd immunity is a valid reason to require vaccination where the most valuable property rights of all are contested… Lives. Now, if you invest in a bubble suit to further minimize your ability to spread a deadly virus into my personal airspace. More power to you. You have countermanded the risks at “your” cost. Not my own.

      1. If your vaccines are so safe *and* effective, inject away. No one is stopping you. By the way, if you arent getting your booster shots, since you don’t have natural life long immunity, you are as good as unvaxxed on that particular virus. So let me get this straight, all the forced vaxxers out there- you are 100% vaccinated and caught up on every single vaccine known to man? Right? Because even viruses/bacteria that are remote chances and could only affect someone already really sick are still worth vaccinating against, correct? Because if you’re not, then you are subjecting everyone else to the potential of the virus/bacteria you may be carrying.

        As far as the immuno compromised types, there are so many dieases, antigens, common sicknesses, how does herd immunity protect them from everything? It sucks, but it is likely they who need to stay home or in a controlled setting. Yes it sucks, I know, but we can’t govern away reality.Many immuno-compromised are still forced to vaccinate, by the way.

        Especially considering our porous border and god only knows how many spill across that border carrying countless diseases, infections, viruses, etc, let alone legal visitors with differing vaccination backgrounds and illness exposures. The government is just gonna “magic wand” away the danger?

        Wait til the mandatory vaccines and then medicines are mandated for adults.

  2. He is to be criticized for saying an accurate thing because people might make bad decisions based on that accurate thing?

    1. I know, right? I know a woman whose daughter died aged three months because of a (as she even admits, exceedingly rare) reaction to vaccination.

      She’s not an anti-vaxxer, though, even with that having happened. But the risk is non-zero.

      1. Deaths due to bad reactions to vaccines are not preventable…or something.

      2. But even perfect economies are based on comparative value and in my mind, the cost benefit analysis you seem to hint at misses the denominator (or the cost toother parties forced to share your airspace). If you aren’t vaccinating, I think insurance would cover it in a market based solution. I’m pretty sure with actuarial evidence it is far more costly to not vaccinate than to do so and even more so if the cost to other people’s intrinsic property were included in the calculations. Unfortunately, we can’t even get it together enough to charge polluters of feeder streams into the pond in front of my house. It is the rent seekers who cause these problems. Fair markets are regulated, but without regard to the purchasing power if this being regulated. Why do you think so many drug dealers carry guns? They can’t even get the most benign if contractual disputes solved without at least the threat of violence.

  3. I contracted my autism through vaccines. However I am happy about who I am, and so I would not discourage someone from getting a vaccine for that reason. I think Rand Paul is exactly right in this case. He’s not a government shill. He shouldn’t be parroting the government line, nor will that convince anyone to get a vaccine. Let people read and study and come to a conclusion on their own. If you don’t think that people are capable of making smart decisions for themselves then the only solution is for the government to force them, and that is the least libertarian position imaginable. #autisticlivesmatter

    1. “I contracted my autism through vaccines.”

      Nope.

      1. Prove it! Do you even have any links? “Nope” is not even vaguely an argument!

        1. SQRLSY One, prove that Dajjal got autism because of a vaccine.

          1. Dajjal got autism because of a vaccine, because Dajjal said so!

            “Appeal to Dajjal’s Authoritah” is what this line of argument is called…

            And it would never, ever, EVAH occur to me, to ALSO argue that “Vince Smith’s Mom wears combat boots”, either! Because those kinds of arguments aren’t used in exquisitely, delightfully polite company such as is found here at reason.com, commentary!

      2. I was an aspy before I ever got vaccinated. Anyway, I highly doubt it’s the vaccines giving people their superior minds.

    2. Autism is congenital. You don’t contract it. The vaccine would have had to have been your mother or father for the vaccine to have given it to you.

    3. What is the proposed mechanism for vaccines to cause autism? A drug has to be very very powerful to cause such a permanent change. If it is a brain infection by live virus wouldn’t you see other signs of acute encephalopathy?

  4. So there was nothing Paul said that was factually untrue, nor did he come out against vaccination. He just did not say everything you would have liked him to say?

    1. Seems like Bailey’s main contention is that Paul would rather allow parents and individuals to make this decision rather than government bureaucrats. You know, the small government position.

      1. Bailey has been in support of mandatory vaccination rules in the past.

      2. Should parents also be allowed to not take their children to the hospital if they get sick? Should parents be allowed to not let their kids be treated for cancer because they believe in prayer instead? Are children just chattel to you?

        Parents have a responsibility, and, yes, government is sometimes needed to enforce that. If a parent abuses his children, the government can come and take the kid away.

      3. Just Say’n, you’re being illogical.

        1. What is a statist cunt like you doing on Reason.com, Vince?

  5. Before I was vaccinated I used to make girls cum gallons and buckets.

    After I was vaccinated I just make girls cum buckets.

    You do the math.

    1. How do they respond to one of your gift-wrapped cum buckets?

      1. I thought he was insinuating THEY are the cum buckets, or something.

      2. How do they respond to one of your gift-wrapped cum buckets?

        Probably about the same as his sperm dumpster t-shirts.

  6. I forget. Is Jenny McCarthy the anti-vaxxer, and Amanda Peet the pro-vaxxer? Or is it the other way around?

    1. The hot one is the anti.

    2. McCarthy is anti-vaxxer (or was a few years back). No clue about Peet.

    3. Jenny McCarthy is anti-vaxxer, and Amanda Peet is an angel and how dare you not know the difference.

    4. Im so fuxking sick of anti vaxx moniker. Reminds me of “climate change denier.” Then you can be pigeon holed and stoned to death (figuratively). Many people are more of the mindset “vaccine safety” “delayed vaccine schedule (because myb1 hour old infant has a fragile enough immune system” or “more vaccine research.” The medical community is now vaxxinting against chicken pox. Chicken pox!! You know, what you got as a kid and your immune system got stronger, developed a natural immunity to….? Now chicken pox = black plague and it’s part of the standard vax schedule.

      The doctors dont even go over the info, benefits/risks with you. The nurse just comes in with a tray FULL of shots for your newborn/ 6month old and,shoots ’em up. Ask for the vaccine inserts (the disclaimer paperwork) next time. You will get 1. A deer in the headlights look 2. Then consternation that you DARE know whats going directly into your kids (or your own) blood stream 3. Blown off because its not that important and you’re not smart enough to read an insert anyways.

  7. Yeah I don’t see what Rand Paul said was incorrect. There is no necessary inconsistency between “vaccines are a good idea” and “vaccines carry some risk”.

    This is another case where he was trying to make an adult argument in a room surrounded by children.

    1. This is another case where he was trying to make an adult argument in a room surrounded by children.

      Yup. And Reason responds, predictably, by throwing a hissy fit.

    2. He was maximizing the appeal of his speech to those who might vote.

  8. IReason is the most authoritarian-statist of libertarian publications

  9. This is Reason’s most glaring blind spot. Rand Paul was quite right; his comment is about the best that can be said in favor of vaccines in general. When manufacturers are absolved of liability for damages, one cannot expect flawless performance from them. There is good reason to be suspicious of our over-vaccination of the young. In any case, Baily’s position is not libertarian in the least. People are, or should be, free to make their own decisions regarding medical interventions. The burden is on the medical community to be transparent and beyond reproach so that people are individually persuaded of the value of a particular vaccine. Claims that all vaccines are safe are simply an appeal to the magic of words (vaccine).

  10. Does Rand Paul cause global warming too?

  11. And in fact, there are at least 10 million immunocompromised Americans (e.g., those being treated with chemotherapy for cancer, taking medications for chronic illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, living with organ transplants, or suffering from HIV/AIDS) who are at risk of infection from people who refuse to protect themselves and their families from vaccine-preventable diseases.

    You’ve got to be a special kind of evil to suggest that school kids should be vaccinated by mandate and against their parents’ wishes so that someone else can be more at ease contracting HIV.

    1. mc: No one made any such suggestion. But I hope that one of your loved ones doesn’t become immunocompromised as a result of treating their cancer – it’s not just vaccine preventable diseases that can kill them.

      1. No one made any such suggestion.

        So, since the overwhelming majority of HIV/AIDS cases are from willfully participating in risky behavior, we can disregard the inclusion of HIV/AIDs in your above comment then?

        My FIL had his colon removed (cancer) in his early 30s and suffers from (and gets treated for) RA. Between him, his wife, my wife, and any given doctor, his immunocompromised status changes based on who’s speaking and what they think he should (not) be doing. I can’t even begin to quantify the amount of pseudoscience generated when his older brother, his wife, and his daughter, all of whom got vaccinated, all developed shingles almost simultaneously and he didn’t.

        1. mc: As someone having had chicken pox as a kid (before a vaccine was available) I have already been vaccinated with the earlier shingles vax and am on the waiting list for the new Shingrix vax. With regard to being immune compromised, we are all at risk since on current trends about one-third of us will have cancer at some point in our lives.

      2. Do we count them if it is a vaccine preventable cancer like cervical cancer?

        1. B: If you have young children (girls and/or boys) please get them vaccinated against human papilloma virus. Already had a male friend die of HPV associated mouth and neck cancer and two others got it and have survived so far.

          1. If you have young children (girls and/or boys) please get them vaccinated against human papilloma virus.

            The vaccines are regionally oriented and targeted at certain strains, much like the flu, any given vaccine’s efficacy falls well below 100% at the outset and can significantly change (downward) based on circumstances.

            Abstinence however, is effective against all strains.

            1. Telling people to live responsibly lacks the authoritarian thrill that sending the police around to inject them with drugs will give you.

              1. They can’t all be power-hungry authoritarians thrill seekers. I’m sure, for some, it’s tough to tell people understand all risks and accept consequences, even the ones they might not like, to their faces. For them, I suspect there’s a self-affirming dopamine rush that lets them know everything’s okay when they sit back and rely on others to make all the hard choices and impose their will for them.

    2. If parents wish to not have their child treated for cancer because they are Christian Scientists who believe only in the power of prayer, should that be legal? Or should that be considered child endangerment?

      1. Yes.

        And abortion should be legal too.

        1. Abortion violates the NAP after the fetus achieves sentience.

  12. Saying that vaccines are important and that not getting them is bad does not require saying that the state must force them on people.

    Doing the right thing under compulsion instead of doing it because you’re a good citizen has nasty side-effects, and that’s before we talk about how the state could misuse the power.

    1. MJD: Handling an open access commons is always a problem – how to properly delineate property rights is always at issue – the medical commons is not much different. Vaccines are like fences and as you know, good fences make good neighbors.

      1. “good fences make good neighbors.”

        ALERT!
        ALERT!
        Reason writer promotes Trump’s wall
        ALERT!

        Someone’s getting called into headquarters for a talking to…

        1. I wonder what Shikha would say to that line

          1. Is she on vacation? I haven’t noticed any of her articles in at least a week.

      2. Vaccines are like fences and as you know, good fences make good neighbors.

        Ergo, the best neighbors come hermetically sealed. Always be leery of neighbors that have been removed from their packaging.

      3. It seems to me that not vaccinating is NOT initiating force …unless you get sick and lick their food. But licking their food is an initiation of force any way you look at it.

  13. I don’t see how Paul “failed” parents by standing against government mandated vaccination. He provided some weak sauce rationale, and perhaps he should clarify or otherwise bolster his position. But he never got in the way of anyone who wants to vaccinate their kids.

    If you’re suffering from a deadly and contagious disease, the government can forcibly quarantine you or treat you in the name of safety. Vaccines are a preventative measure (albeit effective). How should the government force parents to vaccinate their kids? Throw them in jail? Deny entry to public schools in the name of public safety?

    There might be thousands undocumented individuals in this country whoever went through any health screening process. Some of them are already working with other people. The thought of the government ordering mandatory vaccination on these people under various penalties (deportation, loss of jobs) would be disquieting to many libertarians.

  14. In the grand scheme of things, among the libertarian positions that would doom us all, this one is relatively minor. Hard to reconcile the main tenet of libertarianism with having the government force needles into every human’s arm. Which is, of course, why libertarianism is dumb.

    1. I’m not necessarily opposed to public schools mandating vaccinations in a system with ample private school alternatives for people who do wish to abstain from vaccinating their children.

      However, I would definitely be against a forced vaccination policy for every citizen without exception for the same reasons I would be opposed to the government mandating the consumption of kale, spinach and carrots.

      1. I loved Ron’s analogy to “good fences” above.

        Should there be an exception to property sovereignty for people with, say, religious objections, or do you get to just shoot everyone who trespasses?

        1. I’ll admit I don’t quite understand the analogy.

          “Vaccines are like fences”, so we should mandate private property owners have fences? If not, I don’t really see any valid equivalence.

          1. Well I would simply approach it as a commons problem, but many libertarians don’t like talking that way because there are all sorts of policy implications when you acknowledge that people sometimes have to be forced to do things for the greater good. Respecting property rights is one most of you are comfortable with. Not getting vaccinated–more specifically, fostering a culture where it’s acceptable not to be vaccinated–is not exactly like shooting someone, but it’s still causing harm. Same with pollution for that matter.

            1. My issue is that there are all sorts of things the government could force people to do which would lead to less externalities. Where do you draw the line Tony? We don’t force people to eat healthy, though that would inarguably save money on insurance and lead to a healthier public. Can you tell me the inherent difference between forcing vaccinations and forcing healthier eating habits?

              1. Not really. The whole project of politics is about figuring out where such lines are drawn. The form of government we have determines who gets to make those decisions.

                1. I guess I just like a little consistency.

                  1. Too much consistency is radicalism. But it is consistent at a deeper level. It consistently works to maximize human well-being. You draw a line at providing a social safety net because you think that not having one makes a better society. I draw a line somewhere else. What I don’t think should be negotiable is that each policy argument must appeal to reason and human well-being, not adherence to a dogma. That never works.

            2. Not getting vaccinated–more specifically, fostering a culture where it’s acceptable not to be vaccinated

              I disagree that those are the same thing. Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it has to be socially acceptable, and just because something is socially unacceptable doesn’t mean it should be illegal.

              For example, cheating on your spouse is perfectly legal, but few would consider it “acceptable.” Similarly smoking marijuana is illegal (under federal law) but most people do find it acceptable.

              Trying to make the law reflect morality is one biggest threats to freedom we ever see

              1. “Trying to make the law reflect morality is one biggest threats to freedom we ever see”

                It doesn’t really have a choice. What is it supposed to reflect? Random whim? The key is to pick a good set of morals.

                I’m not sure how your post is a response to me.

            3. I’m pretty sure you just argued in favor of Trump’s wall.

              Racist.

            4. Not getting vaccinated–more specifically, fostering a culture where it’s acceptable not to be vaccinated–is not exactly like shooting someone, but it’s still causing harm.

              Bullshit. Not being vaccinated, in and of itself, harms absolutely no one. It is infectious individuals who spread disease and being vaccinated is no guarantee against infection.

              And being unvaccinated is no guarantee of infection.

            5. it’s still causing harm

              Increasing risk is not causing harm.

              If I put a fence up and my neighbor falls off his roof and impales himself on it, the fence increased the risk that he would die if he fell off the roof but I didn’t harm him by putting the fence up.

    2. GTFO of here once and for all

      1. How likely do you think that is?

        1. Well at least you’re not the focus of pedophilia for once. PB and Little,Jeffy have passed you in that regard.

    3. Yes, not using force against humans who aren’t initiating it will “doom us all”.

      Why do you hate innocent people so much? Why are you such a fan of government forcing needles into people?

      (NOT an Anti-Vaxxer)

      1. I’m pro vaccination, but not willing to put a gun to someone’s head to force them to,be vaccinated. On the other hand, tough shit for the unvaccinated if they are excluded from some events and places because of their decision.

        1. +10

  15. The more I think about it, the more I think Rand Paul is right. To be consistent on the principle of property rights, vaccinations really should be optional. I own my body, not the state. Vaccinations should be strongly recommended, but ultimately optional.

    And if we’re being perfectly consistent here, that also means that individuals ought to be free to associate/not associate with you based on your vaccination status.

    1. Jeffy, you pulled your head out of the kiddie porn long enough to get something right.

      Good for you, you sick fuck.

  16. I disagree. Vaccines are important, but I don’t want the government mandating such. Hell, I’ll probably get all my kids HPV, which is fairly cutting edge. That doesn’t mean I look down my nose at others. The best way to do this is the way that Rand Paul is doing so. lead by example.

  17. “We should be troubled when an 18-year-old with no scientific training proves a more enthusiastic and informed witness to the benefits of modern medicine than a seasoned medical doctor.”

    Wow, this is too much. It’s very obvious that this article is nothing more than a desperate attempt to attack Rand. Did he say anything inaccurate? Did he say anything to encourage people not to take vaccines? No, to the contrary he actually suggested that they were a very good idea.

    Nonetheless, so many are willing, even eager, to voice outrage when someone like Rand doesn’t sell his soul to the expected agenda of focusing on just the right thing in just the right way. It’s like people think Rand is against vaccines if he doesn’t use just the right tone of voice and say exactly what everyone else does.

    Rand’s position is a solid libertarian position. No, the government should be able to force people to get their shots. Even if it were proven to be completely harmless, no one should be forced into it.

    1. Typo. The government should NOT be able to force people…

    2. HH and all others: FWIW, the Supreme Court long ago made it settled law that mandatory vaccination is constitutional. The proliferation of “conscience exceptions” in state law is what is new.

      1. HH and all others: FWIW, the Supreme Court long ago made it settled law that mandatory vaccination is constitutional.

        Just b/c it is has been ruled constitutional does not mean that it is right, proper, or just.

      2. HH and all others: FWIW, the Supreme Court long ago made it settled law that mandatory vaccination is constitutional. The proliferation of “conscience exceptions” in state law is what is new.

        Ron, this is really disingenuous for a couple of reasons. 1. An equally libertarian stance that largely side steps the vaccination issue is homeschooling or otherwise restructuring public schooling. You seldom-to-never mention this as an option (because…). 2. You and others frequently invoke the specter of mandatory vaccinations when the outbreaks have nothing to do with public schools. Should everyone be mandated to get a vaccine before going to Disney? How about into or out of the country? How about hospitals refuse to treat people who aren’t vaccinated or otherwise present “undue” risk?

        You don’t really care what SCOTUS says, you just want them to enforce your preferred policy.

        1. The proliferation of “conscience exceptions” in state law is what is new.

          I mean, Jesus Christ, conscience exceptions as a proxy for remaining unvaccinated may be new, but the state of being unvaccinated is the natural one. The vaccines are what is new. Public schooling is what is new. The melange of vaccines in regimented order is what is new. Federally mandated vaccines for schoolchildren is what is new. Federally mandated healthcare for all, specifically shifting the cost of risk off of some and onto others is what is new. Being unvaccinated against a disease is not new.

      3. You shouldn’t be writing for a libertarian publication, Bailey. You’re a joke at this point.

        1. If it weren’t for Ron Bailey being a joke, we would not have found out that Rand Paul does read Reason and the comments and cares about what has happened to Reason Magazine.

  18. Brain inflammation and vaccines. Not just the old autism bit. Start watching at around 1:02 (1 hour 2 minutes) The Director of the National Institute for Health under oath either 1. Doesnt know that of which he should be a subject matter expert -or- 2. Perjures himself (to be saved by sorta saved by his sidekick) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4wiq7tdaP6k This only takes 2 to 4 minutes of your time depending on your interest level.

  19. Why the literal f is Reason arguing against individual liberty and in favor of forced government injections? What do you even stand for? I am literally confused

    1. It’s really more of a question about the limits of those tenets, as universal vaccination is an obviously good idea. Try squeezing that indisputable fact into your worldview instead of denying indisputable fact in order to hang onto a clearly faulty worldview.

      1. It may be utilitarian, more “benefit”, than “cost” if we are only to take into account lives saved, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

        Some people value* freedom over life, some want to reduce risks in one area and take them in another (even if the math doesn’t work out).

        Some of us know that the government powerful enough to give you everything you want is one powerful enough to take everything you have. Some of us don’t trust those in charge of the government (ever, not just every 4-8 years)

        *Value is relative.

        1. “Some people value freedom over life”

          They’re called nutjobs. You can’t have freedom without life. Unless you define freedom the way a suicidal person does.

          At any rate, you not vaccinating your snot-nosed brat affects my life, at least potentially. We do not engage the world in individual hermetically sealed bubbles, I’m sorry to say. The point is your worldview doesn’t deal with reality.

          1. Well Tony, you and your pals barebacking it at the bathhouse impactother people at risk too.

            Maybe your nuts should be cut off as a preventative measure?

          2. “They’re called nutjobs.”

            Appeal to ridicule (fallacy).

            “You can’t have freedom without life.”

            True, but we are talking about odds here. Many of us would rather have a 99% of living free over a 100% of living a slave.

            “At any rate, you not vaccinating your snot-nosed brat affects my life.”

            Your love of theft and murder (government) affects my life. The virus which may infect me, might infect you. Whereas, the government you want to rule WILL try to kill me at some point in my life. Which is worse?

            “We do not engage the world in individual hermetically sealed bubbles”

            But we should, right? If it’s a terrible evil to potentially infect another human with a disease, then we should stay in our bubbles while we are sick, and when we are potentially sick (which is always). So the government should mandate that, right?

            “The point is your worldview doesn’t deal with reality.”

            Another attempted appeal to ridicule. In fact, my worldview DOES deal with ALL of reality, not just my cherry-picked data.

  20. No one should be forced against their will to do ANYTHING! Especially if theyre being forces by their govt #tyranny this is a libertarian based media conglomerate, is it not?

    1. You people are like children.

      No one should be forced to do anything? What about keeping out of your house and not raping your wife? You think people should be forced not to choose those things, correct?

      1. That’s so stupid it isn’t even worth explaining to you why you’re wrong.

        Now go drink your Drano.

  21. Ronald Bailey needs to get booted from his “science” reporting job.

  22. Regarding Ethan Lindenberger (the boy who got vaccinated against his mother’s wishes and testified before congress the other day). He has a brother who remains anti vaxx/pro vaxx choice. He will be on the High wire show on YouTube tomorrow with his brother. Funny the lame stream media didn’t pick up on this obvious story. I encourage you to watch Isaac Lindenberger and his mother on the Highwire with Del Bigtree and just hear what they have to say. To find the video of Isaac;

    Google “Isaac Lindenberger Hear This Well” It should produce a facebook video (I tried to link, didnt work) If in a hurry skip to 1:45.

    Regarding the media’s drivel “Its a crock of shit, and it stinketh!”

    Regarding Rand Paul, he is again outstanding! Thank God for Rand.

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  26. Healthy, uninfected, non-contagious individuals, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not, pose no threat to anyone elses’ health wrt to spreading diseases.

    Contagious, infectious individuals, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not, are the threats.

    Vaccines are not a 100% guarantee of immunity. “[Transmission] of measles can occur within a school population with a documented immunization level of 100%”

    1. Vaccines are not a 100% guarantee of immunity.

      In case other facts aren’t clear:
      Immunity is not a guarantee against transmission.
      Susceptibility is no guarantee of exposure.
      Exposure, given susceptibility, is no guarantee of infection/transmission.

    2. It’s not a 100% guarantee, but it increases your odds of being immune, See.More. I don’t get your argument.

      1. The argument is: Being unvaccinated, alone, does not harm or threaten anyone else. It is the condition of being infectious and not taking precautions to avoid infecting others that spreads disease.

        The latter is not conditioned upon the former; being vaccinated does not, in and of itself, mean that one will never contract nor spread a disease.

  27. I’m a little in awe that purported libertarian would ever argue the government has that much say over a persons body, healthcare, and substance use. Mandating vaccines flies in the face of literally everything a libertarian stands for to such a degree than I don’t know why the author is even writing for a libertarian magazine if he doesn’t think people fundamentally have right to make their own decisions about their bodies and healthcare.

    You have to be fucking desperate for the approval of statists to compromise this far.

    1. Bailey and Reason are not Libertarian.

      1. I certainly wouldn’t pass any purity tests and on balance I’m more libertarian than almost all of the Reason staff.

        1. While there are no ‘purity tests’, the way people speak reveals whether they are Libertarians.

          Forcing people via government force to take vaccinations is not Libertarian. Forcing people to wear seatbelts is not Libertarian.

          Forcing people to do things that only affects them is not Libertarian.

          Of course, with that being said, Libertarianism also involves personal responsibility. If you dont get a vaccine and you get measles, then you need to stay home until you are no longer contagious.

  28. Someone “could get” “might get” “will get” “has been” hurt in every single aspect of every single activity of life. It’s called life and it will never be perfect. I choose the inconveniences and the imperfections of liberty over any government law or regulation in the name of safety…no matter how noble or well intentioned said law/regulation is intended to be for the “benefit” of society.

    With this proposed logic by Mr R Bailey, all people driving cars are collectively responsible for vehicle accidents. How dare anyone drive! Think of the children…you morally bankrupt drivers! And why stop there, we could apply this logic to every type of activity in every aspect of life, think about how much safer government could make us…Utopia at last! If even one life is saved, how great it will be!!! I can now sleep at night…

    Here’s another idea, why not just let the courts settle it? Infected person can take the person to court that caused said damages.

    How is it possible that this has to be explained to an author on a libertarian website? It appears emotion is triumphing principle. All I have to say is…..calmer than you are.

  29. Anti vaxxers should be criminally liable if they catch certain diseases and spread them, doubly so if they get anyone killed at a hospital.

    1. If they do so knowingly and/or intentionally? Sure. Fraudulently? Yes.

      Good luck proving it.

      Typically, the school requires vaccinations before attending and these people put in official records that they have not and will not vaccinate their children. That the school does or doesn’t maintain some vaccination rate or doesn’t partition vaccinated kids from unvaccinated kids isn’t their decision to make. It’s not like they’re taking their kid around to contract measles somewhere and then sneaking them into class.

    2. We all infect others daily with viruses and bacteria that hitch rides on humans.

      This push for forcing vaccinations is to protect the weakest links.

      If you want to vaccinate yourself, cool go for it. Im vaccinated because I dont want all the nasty diseases like polio and measles.

      1. Bingo.

    3. Anti vaxxers should be criminally liable if they catch certain diseases and spread them, doubly so if they get anyone killed at a hospital.

      What about vaxxers that catch and spread certain diseases?

      [Transmission] of measles can occur within a school population with a documented immunization level of 100%”

  30. Some of this makes me think of the commercials I have been seeing that are against vaping. In the commercial someone tries to say that vaping is ‘safer’ than smoking and you get this buzzer-like sound and a thing on the screen that says “Not Safe”. So, apparently the message is that no risk is acceptable. You should not choose the less risky alternative, you should take no risks at all. It all comes down to evaluating risk and what you get from taking it. Flying is statistically safer than driving but it is “Not Safe” in that there are risks. There are risks to pretty much everything we do and if people are saying that we should not do anything with risk, then what is there that you can do? And doing nothing even has risks. Damn! We are totally screwed. So, you should try to enjoy yourself and pick the risks that make you happy.

    1. Funny, because don’t we all freely acknowledge what a fucking dumb approach that is when it comes to abstinence based sex-ed?

  31. It is now libertarian to mandate that the govt. to be able to make you inject something in your body? How about a tracker chip? You know, to keep us all “safe” Vaccines are a good idea. If I ever have kids, they will be vaccinated. I think anti-vax conspiracy theories are moronic & not based on science. But I also believe people have the right to believe what they want & to raise their kids how they want. I trust parents to have dominion over their kids more than govt. I’m a pro-life libertarian, but I know most libertarians are pro-choice on the issue of abortion. I wonder: how can you support the ability for a woman to kill an unborn baby because it is “her body her choice” but oppose the same choice when it comes to something like vaccinations? It seems such a massive contradiction to be so concerned w/ children’s health with vaccinations but be fully, and often enthusiastically, willing to support their termination before birth. People will argue that not being vaccinated puts others at risk. True. But how far do you want to take this argument? You could argue that owning guns puts others at risk & suddenly gun rights are out the window. How about consuming alcohol? Doing either, especially when driving a car, can put others at risk. Perhaps we should prohibit individuals from doing either of those… you know, for the “public safely.” For the “common good” Paul is arguing for an essential linchpin of liberty & if we lose than principle we will lose on other issues too.

    1. Vaccines are a good idea. If I ever have kids, they will be vaccinated. I think anti-vax conspiracy theories are moronic & not based on science.

      Because of my past occupations, I’m vaccinated against Hep B. The average American isn’t vaccinated against it and doesn’t need to be because it’s rare in the US and hard to contract, much like polio. Back when houses (or patios, decks, and playgrounds) were built on dirt, nails were left to rust, and kids (even babies) played outside, developing tetanus from stepping on rusty nails was common and getting a booster was a good idea. Especially if you were a kid who couldn’t talk or didn’t know about tetanus. Now that kids don’t play outside, nails are galvanized and don’t rust, and have access to the same WebMD sites that their parents do (and getting a tetanus shot “just-in-time” is virtually as effective maintaining immunity) tetanus immunization isn’t as critical, even if it is a good idea for babies who can’t talk or parents who don’t have a clue what tetanus is.

      Not every reason not to get vaccinated has to be a conspiracy and “Ideas so good they have to be enforced at the point of a gun.” isn’t libertarian satire for no reason.

      1. The rusty nail thing is really kind of a myth. The true part is that a puncture wound is more likely to cause any infection and a dirty source like an object lying on the ground is more likely to cause tetanus which lives in the soil. It has nothing to do with rust.

        Really any contaminated wound has risk of tetanus.

      2. Also the vaccine for kids is trivalent. It protects against diphtheria and pertussis as well so good idea.

      3. My comments were more a wide brush of anti-vax beliefs. There may be specific cases or instances where there are legitimate arguments over not getting vaccinated. There are also legitimate arguments for spacing out vaccinations in children instead of getting them so close together.

        But most anti-vax (which, to define it, is opposition for all vaccinations, period) is based on fraudulently and disproved thesis and at best junk science. Most of it is are simply conspiracy theories with no actual factual basis, the most prevalent being the supposed (and false) autism link.

      4. My comments were more a wide brush of anti-vax beliefs. There may be specific cases or instances where there are legitimate arguments over not getting vaccinated. There are also legitimate arguments for spacing out vaccinations in children instead of getting them so close together.

        But most anti-vax (which, to define it, is opposition for all vaccinations, period) is based on fraudulently and disproved thesis and at best junk science. Most of it is are simply conspiracy theories with no actual factual basis, the most prevalent being the supposed (and false) autism link.

  32. I came here to say that I had mistaken Reason for a libertarian magazine, but then I saw that Rand Paul had pwned the crap out of Bailey, so I’ll just slow clap.

  33. Ron Bailey is so upset he’s commenting to lambast dissent.

    We all give each other the viruses and bacteria that hitch rides in and on our bodies, every day.

    Until Bailey is okay will paying people he infects that are in close proximity to him, his argument is about as anti-Libertarian as you can get. Not that he is Libertarian.

  34. Rand Paul just totally pwned Bailey.

    1. +10000000000000

  35. Rand Paul, thanks for reading Reason and providing a followup to Ron Bailey’s article.

    As you say, vaccinations ultimately comes down to a choice for yourself and your family. In a Libertarian World that is.

    Ron Bailey wants to use government force to make vaccinations mandatory under some premise that Americans owe other people another personal freedom. Nevermind that Bailey ignores they fact that he ‘infects’ those around him with bacteria and viruses that hitch rides in and on his person on a daily basis.

    Keep up the good work in Washington. We don’t always agree with your positions but overall, you’re one of the few Senators trying to keep this Constitutional Democratic Republic alive and well.

  36. Rand Paul, please deliver more smackdowns to Reason in the future.

    Thanks in advance.

  37. “How sad that a magazine that purports to extoll individual choice editorializes against choice in vaccines.” – Rand Paul.

    Indeed. This is what has me so puzzled. I’m not for censoring anyone, but why in the hell is this guy writing for REASON MAGAZINE, a LIBERTARIAN publication when his views on this issue are, decidedly, not libertarian

    1. I could care less what Bailey or Paul has to say about vaccination. Neither of them is anywhere near medical science on the subject.

      Dr Paul cannot claim creds on this, an opthomologist far out of practice.

      They are political. Politics and medicine do not mix.

      Your family medicine doctor / pediatrician knows far more about this than both of them put together.

      So make your choices wisely parents. Your children cannot.

    2. I could care less what Bailey or Paul has to say about vaccination. Neither of them is anywhere near medical science on the subject.

      Dr Paul cannot claim creds on this, an opthomologist far out of practice.

      They are political. Politics and medicine do not mix.

      Your family medicine doctor / pediatrician knows far more about this than both of them put together.

      So make your choices wisely parents. Your children cannot.

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