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Should childhood vaccines be compulsory ?

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  • Zaphod Zaphod 
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    What do you guys think the mechanism of enforcement should be?  Parents get taken to court and involuntary treatment ordered?  Kids not allowed to go to school?  Kids taken out of parents custody?  Welfare/tax credits get denied without vaccines and/or additional tax penalties?  Parents get taken to jail?  And how cost effective would this be?

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    Many combinations of that would work but likely unnecessary beyond being made mandatory with social exclusion (ie not allowed in school, public places, air travel, etc…). Making it . They should not be allowed to go to school with anything other than a medical exemption. Theres plenty of other similar things you never think about that are this way. Parents arent allowed to starve children for religious or philosophical reasons and would/could be charged with neglect and/or jail time. Children are not parents property and although mostly hidden from daily life this is true, and they cannot do or make any kind of choice for them either.

    It would be exceedingly cost effective as rising outbreaks and subsequent medical treatment is extremely effective let alone the obviously coming emergence of tort suits alleging (and likely correctly) negligence from parents of kids affected by anti-vaxx folks allowed to freely mingle without an actual reason.

     

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    I can get behind requiring a medical exemption for kids to go to school unvaccinated (though that falls short of making vaccination truly “compulsory”).  I’m not so sure lack of vaccination should be considered tantamount to abuse/neglect.  Feeding kids happy meals three times a week and exposing them to secondhand smoke likely damages their health far more than not vaccinating them, and the millions of parents who do that face zero discipline.  The real issue is the public health risk.

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    It makes it nearly compulsory. True medical exemptions are exceedingly rare and would suffice for herd immunity if not abused by doctors (which I sure hope they would stand theri ground here).

    A kid in Oregon just got tetanus and nearly died, spending over a month in PICU and tracking north of a million dollars in charges. Totally preventable and hard to not define it as neglect, even if not recognized as such by the law. While that kind of thing is rare, if current conditions continue it will become less so. Then of course you have the public issues which are also obvious.

    Not sure about the happy meals/secondhand smoke vs. vaccines, I’d take those over being unvaccinated (i did in fact, except the happy meals but that would have been appreciated) and the former not being seen as neglect/abuse and the latter the same doesnt make one wrong/right. Theyre both wrong.

     

    #197396 Reply
    Avatar snowcanyon 
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    Yes, but-

    It’s hard to enforce. Might drive people underground and away from care, which is bad. Definitely should be 100% mandatory for school. Non vaccinators should be held criminally, civilly, and financially liable for any problems their children face from the consequences of their actions, and they should be referred to DCFS (we certainly refer people for stupider crap).

    The kiddo in Oregon needs to be removed from the home/vaccinated against his parent’s wishes. 800k in medical bills, pain and suffering, and they still refuse to vaccinate? Why aren’t they in prison, like the parents who don’t give their diabetic children insulin. I can’t believe they let him go home without vaccines and without prosecuting the parents.

    #197415 Reply
    Liked by MaxPower
    ACPC ACPC 
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    Yes, absolutely, with proof of vaccination (in some form of ID) for school attendance, voucher program, sports participation, or access to kid facilities (Disneyland, Chuck-E-Cheese, etc).

    Also, parents should be able to know if any other children at a daycare or school are unvaccinated (without singling children out) so they can take their kids elsewhere. This was an issue for us at a daycare connected to the university hospital where I was a resident, where they would not tell me. We couldn’t afford to move to a different daycare (shortage and HCOL price).

    Then my son actually got pertussis last year (despite his vaccination) when we moved to Western Europe (same antivax BS here). He got through it ok, but it was a very scary, sleepless, couple of months.

    Non vaccinators should be held criminally, civilly, and financially liable for any problems their children face from the consequences of their actions,

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    Absolutely. Non-vaccinator parents should also should be held liable for vaccinated kids (non-responders) who get sick in vicinity of their unvaccinated kids because of loss of herd immunity.

    #197416 Reply
    Liked by Peds
    Avatar Panscan 
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    No not absolutely compulsory. Then the government can magically deem any activity they want necessary for public health and require it.

    You can make them compulsory for public school and that’s fine but you can’t do absolute. Would be a horrible decision and vast expansion of government power.

    #197417 Reply
    Liked by portlandia, Craigy
    Avatar Panscan 
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    Not sure how someone can argue vaccines should be required yet things like smoking which do tangible direct harm to everyone in the world are OK. So if you’re going to make this argument then you have to keep going and change a whole lot of behaviors and cause a lot of restriction.

    I think getting rid of smoking world wide would do way more for public health than mandating vaccines for the anti vaxxers.

    #197418 Reply
    White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
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    Yes, vaccination should be compulsory for public school attendance and for travel on public conveyances such as air travel.  Exemptions should be limited to valid medical contraindications.

    #197419 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod, Tim
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
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    Well, you all know my opinions re: negative externalities and holding people accountable.

    Panscan, ordinarily I’d agree with the government overreach/slippery slope argument any day of the week. But not when your actions produce clear, negative effects on others. I’m fully against banning smoking. But I am fully about taxing the bejesus out of it to account for the negative externalities it creates in healthcare costs others have to pay. Ditto for alcohol, carbon, weed, etc.

    #197420 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
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    How can you be against outlawing smoking yet for vaccines being mandatory?

    Secondhand smoke is probably more clear of a negative effect than the fringe tiny percentage of anti vaxxers who really aren’t effecting herd immunity

    #197421 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
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    I guess I just don’t understand where the argument goes. So whenever we deem something is really bad for health, we outlaw it? Could do things with obesity 100x more effective than removing anti vaxxers

    #197422 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
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    I guess I just don’t understand where the argument goes. So whenever we deem something is really bad for health, we outlaw it? Could do things with obesity 100x more effective than removing anti vaxxers

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    My smoking only harms me directly but it creates a negative externality where a) second-hand-smoke exists, and b) in the costs that society has to bear now in terms of healthcare costs.  You regulate a) by imposing laws against smoking in public places, bars, hot-boxing your kid in the car, etc.  For b) you impose a tax that actually accounts for the marginal use of that pack of cigarettes.  Vaccines have negative externalities simply by their non-use.  Thus, you impose laws against their non-use.  You can’t do that with a half-measure or say you can’t not vaccinate in bars, schools, etc.  It’s a binary thing.  So yes, you can be against a smoking ban and be pro-vaccination at the same time.

    #197423 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    Avatar Panscan 
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    I would say second hand smoke is a direct harm as well.

    Ie some guy in China smoking is still harming me directly.

    Do you have any comparative examples of something we mandate for everyone due to externalities? Like I said if we say it’s a requirement for public schools or a private institution wants to make their own requirements that fine, I just don’t know how we can say ” vaccinate your kids or else.” and I don’t know of any other circumstance where that thought is upheld.

    Are well child visits mandated? I honestly don’t know but it seems like that would be a similar scenario

    #197426 Reply
    Avatar Panscan 
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    If there is data that a certain form of birthing is superior to another, should we get rid of the other forms? There are plenty of secondary externalities there for society. It’s just a neverending rabbit hole

    There are plenty of things that would be beneficial as a society as a whole, doesn’t mean we can legislate them.

    #197427 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
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    I would say second hand smoke is a direct harm as well.

    Ie some guy in China smoking is still harming me directly.

    Do you have any comparative examples of something we mandate for everyone due to externalities? Like I said if we say it’s a requirement for public schools or a private institution wants to make their own requirements that fine, I just don’t know how we can say ” vaccinate your kids or else.” and I don’t know of any other circumstance where that thought is upheld.

    Are well child visits mandated? I honestly don’t know but it seems like that would be a similar scenario

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    Health insurance (was)

    Auto insurance

    Taxes

    Second-hand smoking may indeed be a direct harm.  Not sure about the guy in China though.  There has to be a reasonableness standard.

    #197428 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    ACPC ACPC 
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    anti vaxxers who really aren’t effecting herd immunity

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    But the anti-vaxxers are affecting herd immunity, and though a small percentage on average, they geographically cluster. Furthermore, they are clearly associated with infections in vaccinated children (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2503179). My kid got pertussis last year, despite vaccination (though pertussis resurgence specifically is likely a consequence of both anti-vaxxers and waning immunity).

    I guess I just don’t understand where the argument goes.

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    As for smoking, I no more think that folks should be able to smoke in public areas than pee in the drinking water. What they do on their own is fine if they pay increased insurance premiums to cover their increased risk (since it is a matter of choice). I do think that insurance premium increases should take people’s agency into account when it comes to lifestyle decisions, but not to penalize them for the non-modifiable circumstances of their birth. This can obviously descend into a philosophical quandary involving free will and genetic predisposition (e.g. susceptibility to addiction, etc), but there is a reasonable line somewhere.

    For kids with secondhand smoke exposure and obesity, I think there is obviously some nuance involved with how society should interact with the parents to protect the child, but also an obvious imperative to protect children from harm.

    #197429 Reply
    Avatar RocketBooster 
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    Yes

    #197430 Reply

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