Mandatory Vaccination

No, not a good idea I would think.

Primary schools will be compelled to demand proof that pupils have had a full range of jabs – including measles, mumps and rubella – before allowing them to register.

It\’s one thing to say that children should be vaccinated, another to insist that they must.

The ideas have yet to be discussed with the Prime Minister, who is expected to react cautiously. Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the BMA, said forcing parents to have children immunised was "morally and ethically dubious" and would go "beyond the nanny state to a police state".

He said: "A Stalinist approach like this would be likely to backfire on an unprecedented scale, and to increase opposition to vaccinations."

There is that, the political objection.

The Labour proposal is modelled on a compulsory system in America, where parents are threatened with jail if children are not immunised.

Hmm, I rather doubt that….for the vaccination programs in the US are done by the States. Thus, as federalism rather requires, there are many different systems. One of the more common is that vaccinations are indeed required before entering the public school systems. Yes, this has added (however little) to the home schooling movement.

So, practical arguments against it, civil liberties ones as well. There\’s also the point that certain groups are morally opposed to certain of the jabs. For example, the new MMR uses a culture taken from an aborted foetus to create the rubella part of it. The official position of the Catholic Church was (at least it was, whether it still is I don\’t know) that good cannot come from an evil deed and that thus that specific vaccine should not be used by Catholics. I\’m sure there are other religious groups with objections to one, more or all of them (do Jehovah\’s Witnesses vaccinate?).

Finally, there\’s a large group (for some meaning of large: in this case, too big to ignore politically) of children who shouldn\’t be vaccinated at all: those with weakened immune systems for example.

Mandatory vaccination therefore won\’t really work: not unless there are a series of opt out clauses. Whjich, given the size of some of the groups, means that we\’ll not be far off where we are now.

3 thoughts on “Mandatory Vaccination”

  1. Public health issues – here, the business of herd immunities – does call for us to accept restrictions on our freedoms – I see no way around it. Typhoid Mary had to be locked up, or you have to accept the risk (or, in her case, certainty) of spreading deadly infection. The problem here is just that we know that New Labour will eff it up: they’ll insist on injections for those who, on medical grounds, should be exempted. It’s the combination of guaranteed incompetence with their preference for the illiberal that persuades me that we should hang ’em all. Soon.

  2. “It’s one thing to say that children should be vaccinated, another to insist that they must.”

    Indeed. And it’s also one thing to agree that people should have insurance – and another to require they must, using the mechanism of the State and its laws.

    When the State has itself, and everyone else, convinced that it is paying for everyone’s care, it will sooner or later assert the right to tell you what care you shall receive, and what care you shall not. In effect, we exchange our civil liberties – willingly or not, and at least on this point – for a mess of pottage as it were.

    And so we come to live under a veterinary ethic and see it as not only normal, but desireable.

    The state claims to treat us benignly – as we treat our own pets. The State has a veterinary interest to act in our best interests, just as we have a veterinary duty to act in Rover’s interest. And all the while decisions are made based in large part on convenience and financial interest of the caretaker.

    This may be agreeable to the majority of people, or it may not. Regardless, why should it surprise anyone?

  3. Person of Choler

    Let the parents do what they want about vaccination, and let Darwin sort out the results.

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