ABC News published a story about how a circuit court judge in Maryland has ordered children to get vaccinated. Children in the Prince George’s County school system are required to have chickenpox and Hepatitis B shots before going to school. About 2,300 of 132,000 kids still have not met the immunization requirements. Parents of unvaccinated children have now been ordered to bring their children to the courthouse for vaccination or to face fines of $50/day and up to 10 days in jail.
My first thought when reading this was “who the hell do they think they are?” I jumped up off my computer to go pull the soapbox out of the closet. Then I reconsidered.
Vaccination is one of the “hardships” (if you can call it that) that we pay for living in a society such as ours. Some argue that vaccines are causally linked to other diseases such as autism and SIDS. Others argue that vaccines are ineffective and unsafe. Some object for religious reasons. This Wikipedia entry gives an interesting in-depth analysis of the vaccination debate.
According to the ABC report, 95% of the country is vaccinated. What are we to do with the other 5%? Going to jail may be harsh, and most of those 5% don’t live in Maryland where they’d have to go to jail. So I have an alternative solution.
If you don’t want to get vaccinated or to have your kids vaccinated. Fine. Don’t. If you don’t want to assimilate into this society, you don’t have to. But there’s a catch. Then you have to keep your whooping cough barking, rotavirus spewing, chickenpox scratching, measle-faced offspring away from my kids. I don’t want my family having an increased risk of catching a potentially fatal disease because of your unfounded scientific conclusions or your cockamamie religious beliefs.
Home school your kids and keep them out of places where my kids could catch your kid’s diseases. If you take them to public places, they have to wear bright orange clothing that says “UNVACCINATED” in big letters across the front and back so my family knows to stay the hell away from them.
And when you or your kids do get one of these diseases, don’t go running to a medical facility looking for help. You were offered a simple way to prevent these diseases and chose not to accept it. You don’t want society’s help for these things, remember? Besides, all you’re going to do is spread the disease by exposing your offspring to sick people whose defenses are down. If you sign a religious waiver, go to your church and “have Rev. Bubba lay his hands upon your head and declare you fit.” Or if you just don’t believe that vaccines work, find one of the doctors who shares your beliefs and go see them … if they’re still practicing.
And if you still think that vaccines are ineffective in treating diseases, I have one word for you: smallpox.