Anti-vaccine movement and measles

So, with all the kerfuffle recently about people not wanting their kids vaccinated (for all manner of reasons, some worthy, but many not), here are my two cents. If you live in the army of distrust, you should be able to skip vaccinating your kids. But, here is what we ought to express, as a matter of public policy on the issue.

First, if your kids acquire a preventable disease for lack of a vaccination, your health plan should be allowed to deny coverage. Second, if your kid gets my (vaccinated) kid sick (it’s possible, because as an informed and thoughtful consumer, I know that no intervention is perfect but I made an informed choice on the best available evidence), I should be able to pursue you for my kid’s medical care costs and my time lost from work. There, you get to satisfy your individualistic yen, but because you disregard common goods, I don’t have to be burdened by it.

By the way, there is no federal mandate for vaccinations, and it’s unlikely we’ll ever have one. It is a local matter and localities differ on their requirements, which what you get in our form of democracy. I just want people to bear the costs of their choices.

I’m not saying vaccinations are perfect. No medical intervention is. However, vaccines are one of the very few medical services promoted by our corporate-statist healthcare industry that actually aim to keep you out of its clutches. If you are sickened by a preventable disease, you have to enter a healthcare industry that kills about 200,000 Americans annually.

You think that’s safer than getting a vaccine? If you believe that you or your kids are somehow better off getting diseases that once affected millions of American kids, then you can keep company with the chiropractor who recently bragged to me that none of her kids were vaccinated. She said had the data (from a chiropractic conference) to prove that vaccinations were a government plot to make us all sick and that infectious diseases were disappearing of their own accord. Are you kidding me? This gibberish coming from some vacuous bonehead whose profession is based on the idea that “subluxation” causes disease. Can you spell Q-U-A-C-K?

By the way, it’s important to remember two other things. First, many countries won’t allow you enter without evidence of certain vaccinations. Second, I agree that there is a worthy debate around optional vaccinations, such as those for HPV, shingles, or other infectious diseases more common with maturation.  Anti-vaxxers are going to get what they paid for, either through more oppressive state and local legislation or through the imposition of a cost-of-care burden for their decision to be ridiculous.

Measles was officially eliminated from the US in 2000, but its alarming comeback over the last year has reignited criticism of “anti-vaxxers,” a growing segment of individuals who don’t vaccinate because they believe that autism is caused by vaccinations, among other reasons.

This is a risky stance. Vaccines are incredibly effective at controlling and eliminating infectious diseases. Because the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases are still out there, stopping vaccinations makes people extremely susceptible to infections that can kill or severely disable them.

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