Vaccines are quite possibly the most effective tools developed by modern science. They have eradicated small pox from the planet. Polio was nearly eradicated and is one of many examples of religion and pseudoscience interfering with actual progress especially when it comes to vaccines.
There is a recent movement (due largely in part to Jenny MacCarthy and Andrew Wakefield) to not give children vaccines for diseases that no longer present, or at least visible, in society. One thing we must remember is that diseases mutate can grow stronger, which is why you should always finish off your prescriptions as indicated to continue killing off the strongest of the viruses and diseases.
Individual liberty seems to be the one of the main arguments against compulsory vaccination programs. The argument goes
The government cannot force me to take any medication no matter how effective it is for me or others.
Here’s where this argument fails: As soon as your decisions begin to affect other people, it is no longer just about you and can no longer be classified liberty. If this kind of argument is allowed, there are no crimes, no civilization, just anarchy.
Another argument which runs along the above is that it violates children’s rights in the same way circumcision does. Let’s first dispel this argument. My previous post talks about the importance generalizing arguments and seeing how far certain arguments can be pushed. The difference between mandatory vaccination and circumcision is that circumcision is a final process in which you take something away which can never be given back. Whereas, vaccinations aid your immune and do not take anything away (except possibly a serious ailment).
And for those who think you can stop taking vaccinations and the disease won’t come back whooping cough is on the rise in Saskatchewan, Australia, and there’s an epidemic in California. Not to mention the recent outbreaks of measles.
(H/T to Jen McCreight.)