Sunday, April 15, 2012

Where I Draw the Line...

I'm pretty much a live and let live kind of girl...I support an individual's right to freely make choices that impact on themselves and others for which they have the responsibility to make decisions. I hope (and largely assume) that the decisions made are ones that are based on good information and best meet the needs of those making the decision. As a result, I tend to be very pro-choice on a large array of issues - particularly those that fall into a personal domain. But I must draw the line on certain things ...

One of those things is vaccine rejection for non-medical reasons.

I believe vaccine rejection is one of the most insidious threats to public health that exists today. Furthermore, I believe that being appropriately vaccinated is part and parcel of the social contract and that everyone who can be vaccinated, should undertake to do so. Choosing not to vaccinate is sociopathic, it's based on a set of conspiracy theories and risks that pale in comparison to the risks of the diseases prevented by vaccines. Those who refuse to be vaccinated rely on everyone else who decide to vaccinate themselves to be protected from disease - as a result the benefit from the herd immunity which has been established without having to take any of the actions needed to establish that protection. Until that immunity is lost - because too many people choose not to do their own part. Then vaccine preventable diseases re-emerge and those who really have no choice due to medical reasons (a known allergy or reaction or a compromised immune system and the very young) pay the price - sometimes the ultimate price - death.

So when it comes to vaccination - I am not pro-choice, I am not pro-choice because those who don't have a choice cannot be expected to pay the price (often tragic) for somebody else's misinformed decision to forgo vaccination.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you and as such have had a pertussis booster at the age of 50 as I cannot be sure that I am protected and contracting it would kill me being a severe asthmatic. The cost of not vaccinating is going to be high, both in human terms and in terms of unneccessarily increasing the cost of healthcare to those affected. I believe it should be the law - if you want to live in this province you must agree to vaccinate. Your personal autonomy should not override the risk you pose to others and we have sound solid proof of the effectiveness and minimal risk of vaccination. Personally, I am devastated to have just learned that my precious four and six year old nieces have not had any vax's and currently there is an outbreak of pertussis in their area, and one of my nieces is an asthmatic. People do not fully comprehend the risk they are taking.

  2. Nicely stated. It's a form of cheating, and it bothers me that those who claim to care so much about their own children obviously don't value the children of their neighbors.