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Should there be a penalty for not vaccinating yourself or your kids?

 
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 08:06 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
That seems a little ridiculous. If the goal is to protect kids how can answer be keep them from going to school?
the goal is to protect the collective from the irresponsibility of individuals. I have a big problem with government oppressing people in the name of protecting people from themselves and somewhat less problem with oppression with the aim of protecting some few individuals whom in theory could be hurt in the future, but I have none when it comes to the collective protecting the collective. In a pandemic everyone is massively harmed, the not sick as well as the sick, we have a right to do what we can to make sure that does not happen.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 08:19 pm
@boomerang,
Boomerang,

Punishing families does not save lives.

It is, of course, a tragedy that kids die from "preventable" diseases. You use the word "preventable" without really defining what it means, and in the context you are using this word it doesn't quite make sense.

We are talking specifically about the case where a small number of families refuse to get their kids vaccinated for religious or philosophical grounds.

There are two ways of dealing at this problem.

1) We can be punitive. We can apply penalties and make life as hard as we can for people who don't submit. Of course, the penalties we inflict are going to cause hardship for families and for kids.

2) We can accept that after a well-run public education campaign with widely accessible vaccines there will be still be few families that still don't want to have the vaccines.

Now Boomerang, I get that there are tragic anecdotes of dying kids. But they are not relevant unless you can show that punishing kids and families saves lives. And the stories of death you tell accentuated with italics don't explain at all how punishing families would have made any difference.

The science says that after a certain rate, the last percentage of kids you vaccinate doesn't make a difference. In this case we are punishing families just for the sake of punishing families.

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 08:23 pm
@hawkeye10,
Hawkeye, you are not protecting the collective.

We don't need a 100% vaccination rate. If we can reach the required rate through public education and accessibility, then punishing kids and families is unnecessary.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 08:25 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
We don't need a 100% vaccination rate
Which is the only reason I am willing to let people opt out after paying a $5K tax.
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 08:33 pm
@maxdancona,
Clearly your understanding of the actual debate is off-kilter Maxdancona.

You overly fetishize those poor and persecuted religious and/or philosophical families that you have overlooked that the biggest sum of parents refusing vaccinations for their children aren't doing it for religious and philosophical reasons.

Quote:
Latest national survey from the U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit finds that 9 of 10 parents believe vaccines provide protection for children, but 5 of 10 still worry about vaccine side effects and safety.

http://www2.med.umich.edu/prmc/media/newsroom/details.cfm?ID=1498

Quote:
The study also shows that 54 percent are concerned about serious side effects from vaccines and 25 percent believe that some vaccines cause autism.

maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 08:40 pm
@tsarstepan,
My point is that punitive measures are not a good way of dealing with the problem especially if we can exceed the scientifically-warranted rate without them.

I am advocating public education and accessibility. I don't think your article contradicts this. There is certainly nothing to suggest that punishing families and kids is reasonable or necessary.

Particularly in the minority communities discussed in your article keeping a good working relationship between families and public health officials is important for much more than vaccinations. Punitive measures aren't a good way to do outreach to vulnerable communities.





boomerang
 
  0  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 08:42 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
We don't need a 100% vaccination rate

Which is the only reason I am willing to let people opt out after paying a $5K tax.


Which is why I'm willing to let people opt out if their life depends on it.

If there is no harm to you from getting a vaccine and if your getting that vaccine will prevent harm to others then you should have to get one.
Irishk
 
  3  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 09:03 pm
The real losers are the unvaccinated kids. If an unvaccinated child travels to a foreign country and is exposed to, say, whooping cough (pertussis), he comes home to the U.S. and exposes all the other unvaccinated kids. That's exactly what happened in the 2010 outbreak in San Diego (that CJ mentioned). And while it's generally only fatal to babies, the cost of treatment can be enormous (not to mention the misery for the infected kids).

What's really interesting is who these people are. The CDC says that undervaccinated kids are most likely to come from poor, minority, one-parent households. These are kids that started out getting the required immunizations, but for various reasons, including economic, didn't finish the full course.

The wholly unvaccinated children tend to come from non-Hispanic, white, middle to upper income, two-parent, educated families making $75K or more.

They also point out that states that allow parents to opt out due to religious or philisophical reasons have many, many more unvaccinated kids than states that don't allow it.

They named California, Illinois, New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, and Michigan as states that have many unvaccinated children.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 09:04 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
Should there be a penalty for not vaccinating yourself or your kids?
No
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 09:16 pm
The only one I'd be concerned with is the pertussis (the P part of DPT) since that one had the most severe side effects in small percentage of infants (but if it's your infant it's relevant). But...now they have the DaPT (acellular Pertussis) which is supposedly much, much safer without some of the severe side effects (seizures, etc.). So, yeah, I'd probably get the whole package...better safe than sorry. Or...maybe just the DT -- which I think a lot of parents do -- but only if the side effects showed up.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 08:58 am
@maxdancona,
The problem would be - if you had this opt out without any punishment, then why would you have your child vaccinated. If 90% of the kids have the vaccination, then why risk even the small risk of a side effect? Your child could benefit from all the kids being vaccinated -thus you would end up with more and more children not being vaccinated - and then there would be a problem.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 09:02 am
@maxdancona,
There is also a sense of "fairness". The sense that you are taking advantage of the fact that my child and boom's child are vaccination and took the risk of side effects so your child didn't have to -
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 09:03 am
@boomerang,
And I agree - if there is a medical reason why some one should not have a vaccination - that should be the only acceptable opt out.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  6  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 09:46 am
@Linkat,
Quote:
The problem would be - if you had this opt out without any punishment, then why would you have your child vaccinated. If 90% of the kids have the vaccination, then why risk even the small risk of a side effect? Your child could benefit from all the kids being vaccinated -thus you would end up with more and more children not being vaccinated - and then there would be a problem.


Because if you're child does come into contact with the disease, they are vulnerable. "Herd immunity" does not mean that the infectious agent is not present in the environment and in the population, just that there aren't enough unvaccinated individuals to allow for a chain of infection to result in rapid spread and epidemic disease.

Even this assumes a relatively homogenous mixture of vaccinated and nonvaccinated individuals, which is NOT likely to be the case in human populations. There's a high likelihood that those undervaccinated undocumented immigrants are living in clusters where disease could spread like wildfire if it took hold. At least, these communities are potential reservoirs for childhood diseases that the precious suburban kids who aren't vaccinated because their parents bought into the bullshit about vaccines being linked to autism might be exposed to.

To me, the most sensible thing to do is to focus outreach and education efforts at the populations most at risk. And widely publicize incidents of the disease in question. I know nothing motivates a new dog owner to vaccinate their animal like seeing a another puppy die of parvo...
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 09:49 am
@patiodog,
I agree completely - but they should do both - educate/outreach as well as require except for a specific medical reason.
OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 10:44 am
@boomerang,

I 've heard that folks have gotten very sick from vaccinations.

Everyone needs to decide for himself what to do about his own health.

His body belongs to HIMSELF, not to his employee, the hireling government.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 06:10 pm
@Linkat,
We agree that vaccinations are good, and that kids should get them.

Where we disagree is whether punishment is appropriate. You have failed to show any benefit to punishing kids and families. From the war on drugs to the past efforts to stop homosexuality punitive measures have generally proven to be a poor way to implement public policy.

Public policy should be based on science that backs specific goals. IrishK listed the states with the most unvaccinated children --California, Illinois, New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah, and Michigan. Yet these states are doing very well. The national childhood mortality rate is 19 deaths per 10,000. All of these states have below this exact Utah (with 21).



CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 06:44 pm
@maxdancona,
That's not true! I live in southern California and we have had recent outbreaks of pertussis. It became almost epidemic and the CA health department along with schools made it mandatory that every child entering school this coming September better have proof of a pertussis vaccination or be sent home.

A few years we had outbreaks of chicken pox, hell we even had cases of polio - mostly brought into this country by undocumented workers and their children from South America. Yes, there is an outreach program that immunizes children of undocumented parents free of charge, yet they won't take advantage of it for whatever reason.

Implementing such mandatory immunizations via school venues is a great start already, and I hope this will be enough pressure for everyone - lunatics who deliberately won't immunize their children, undocumented aliens who don't know any better and religious fanatics who are just dumb.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 07:57 pm
@CalamityJane,
You are missing the point. I believe in vaccinations. I also believe in diversity and respect for the rights of minorities. I am arguing for balance between the two extremes.

I am not anti-vaccination.

I am anti-punitive public policy. Punishing people for their beliefs is rarely effective and is harmful and counter productive.

What is wrong with balance? There is an upper limit beyond which more vaccination is unnecessary. For pertussis this is about 90% meaning that 10% of people can excused.

There are benefits to foregoing harsh punitive measures even though it means that a few percent of kids won't get vaccinated.

First it means that a few percent of kids will go to school. This in itself is worth it. It also means that public health officials can keep working with communities instead of against it. Health workers and educators should support and build relationship with communities. They aren't cops.

Again, I am arguing for moderation and balance. Obviously if there is a clear public health danger then you apply as much force as necessary-- but no more.

Once you meet that threshold where a community is protected, any more force does more damage to kids and families with no benefit.




Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Jul, 2011 09:12 pm
@patiodog,
patiodog wrote:
I know nothing motivates a new dog owner to vaccinate their animal like seeing a another puppy die of parvo...

That's an interesting point! Californians aren't given an 'opt out' option when it comes to licensing or vaccinating their dogs. There's even a late penalty. Yet, the state makes it ridiculously easy to opt out of vaccinating kids.
 

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