Vaccinations

by Cathy Wang

Should parents be permitted to opt out of required vaccinations for their children?

Yes, parents should be allowed to opt out of required vaccinations for their children. By giving this answer I am not saying that I'm against vaccinations. My entire family always receives the required vaccinations. What I mean by answering yes to the question would be the fact that I think parents should be allowed to not vaccinate their child. In no way am I saying that I dislike vaccines. That I am against them or that they are wrong. I am simply saying the every person should have a say in what they do and do not want to put in their bodies or their children's bodies. No one should be forced to do something they do not want to do. No parent should have to give their child vaccinations. There is an alternative, make opting out more difficult for those not wanting to get vaccines. If the topic truly means something to them they will fight, if not they will give up. I believe that every parent should have a choice.

Yes

"Freedom doesn't get much more personal than the right of individuals to choose what is put into their bodies, and to accept or reject medical procedures" (Welch).
  • Vaccines are different for every child and doctors don't know the possible harm that could come to the child receiving the vaccine.
"To live in a free society, one must be willing to tolerate people who make bad decisions and bad choices, as long as they don't directly infringe on the rights of others" (Singer).
  • Parents that aren't vaccinating their children believe they are making the best decision for their children. They care and love them, they shouldn't be treated with hostility and forced to vaccinate their child.
"Individual parents have become the last line of defense, and their choices should be respected and preserved" (Reider).
  • Vaccines could conflict with someone's religion or personal beliefs and they shouldn't have to sacrifice that. And no one should be forced to do something they don't want to do.
"We need to do what's best for public health and safety, but in a way that avoids doing serious harm to society in the process" (Ropeik).
  • We don't have to completely get rid of the option to opt out, all we need to do is make opting out more difficult. The ones that truly care about not vaccinating will go through with it, while the ones that don't really care will give up. That way the amount of people opting out will reduce.
"But the solution need not be to entirely eliminate choice, we just have to reduce the number of people opting out so that enough kids are vaccinated to achieve herd immunity," (Ropeik).

No

  • In two California theme parks 41 people were infected, one woman ended up infecting over three hundred other people after being admitted to the hospital.
"All parents have to consider whose children they're responsible for. but they only feel responsible for their own children" (Rodgers).
  • In Minnesota five people were infected with Hib, a seven month old died do to being infected.
"Anti-vaccination folks are taking advantage of the fact that most of the people around them have chosen differently, thus acting as a firewall protecting them from disease. But if enough people refuse that firewall comes down, and innocent people get hurt" (Siegel).
  • Many people that are against vaccinations are afraid of something that gives someone a ninety-nine percent chance of immunity.
"But when the lives of children are at risk, public health and safety must necessarily trump even the most sincere claim of conscience" (Haynes).
  • Parents should be afraid of the virus spreading, not the vaccine that should prevent it.

An Overview

Recently there have been many outbreaks and signs of possible breaking in herd immunity. Now people are taking sides, pro or anti-vaccine. People that are anti-vaccine are worried about the risks that go along with vaccinations. Sometimes vaccines might interfere with religious or personal beliefs. There are often more people that are pro-vaccine. They argue that vaccines have been proven to be helpful and safe and are no threat to people. Some also treat anti-vaccine supporters with hostility. Many people are discussing the topic of vaccines. Should parents be allowed to opt out?