Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Required vaccination brings red flag

Required vaccination brings red flag

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 27, 2015)

I know of a lot of people who are very vocal against vaccinations. They have their reasons, although I am less than convinced. I rarely believe in “one size fits all” solutions. This can make me unpopular with both sides.

I would say I am generally in favor of vaccinations — the ones that work, anyway. And, the ones where the targeted disease is actually worse than the potential harm caused by the vaccine.

Not all vaccines are equally effective, not all diseases to be vaccinated against are equally dangerous, and vaccines can and do cause harm.

"Until vaccines are as safe as say, marijuana, calling them 'safe' as a blanket statement is just plain false." -- libertarian activist, Christopher Cantwell

A couple of years ago I had a tetanus booster shot. To me the risks associated with tetanus- even considering the tiny likelihood of contracting it- are great enough that the risk of taking the vaccine wasn't even an issue. Others might disagree.

As long as you go into it understanding the risks and benefits, I won't criticize your choice.

To me, the red flag is mandatory vaccinations; something I am very much opposed to and will never support. I might try to talk you into a particular vaccination, but if you refuse I won't try to force you. If you're sick I'll probably avoid contact- just as I generally do with sick people.

If I am vaccinated against whatever you contracted, either my vaccination will protect me, or a vaccination probably wouldn't have done you any good, either. If there is any added risk to me, I am willing to accept it while standing up for your liberty. The risk is small compared to the risk of starting down the slippery slope of believing anyone has the authority to force someone to take a drug they don't want for their own good. I've seen where that inevitably leads, and it isn't healthy for anyone.

Once you start forcing people to be stabbed and have foreign substances placed inside their body "for the good of society", it is a small step to say they must give up other parts of their life, liberty, and property for society's benefit. Maybe their car is too big, their house too garish, their bank account too large, or their yard too messy. The notion that other people do not belong to you has become a very radical position, but it is still the only right one.

If you have strong feelings one way or the other about vaccinations, try to convince people and then leave them alone to live with the consequences of their choice.

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