Monday, December 17, 2007

Government as babysitter

Here again is the government, deciding what's best for you. Flu shots are now mandatory for New Jersey preschoolers. Now, I'm not anti-vaccine. I've gotten every one available for Ace thus far, including the rotavirus vaccine. I'm not anti-anti-vaccine - if you don't want to vaccinate your child, that is just fine by me. This rule makes no sense.

If you don't want to vaccinate your child, you know that you're taking a risk that your child will get sick with the diseases against which he or she can be vaccinated. That's a risk you're willing to take, given the risks of vaccines. If you do want to vaccinate your child, you know that your child is mostly protected against the diseases against which he or she is vaccinated.

So... who is it that wants mandatory vaccinations? Ohhh, that's right. The gummint. They know all.

Ron Paul thinks this is bull, thinks you should decide what you do and don't put in your child, and raised a record-breaking 6 million dollars and some change yesterday. The previous record-holder for one-day fund raising was John Kerry, and that was when he'd basically already won the Democratic nomination. Ron Paul is better than your candidate of choice, if, in fact, your candidate of choice isn't Ron Paul.


mayberry said...

I'm with you sista!

Go Ron Go! Go Ron Go! Go Ron Go!

HEATHER said...

You know this makes me so angry. I live in a small rural area and I can name three people that I know personally that contracted Gullien-Barre syndrome from taking a flu shot. Yes, their doctors diagnosed that it was from the flu shot-this is not speculation or paranoia. So I have not taken a flu shot in 10 years and will never take one again for that matter, nor give one to my child. Thank goodness I don't live in NJ or they would have to arrest me.

From the Doghouse said...

They may be able to arrest you, Heather, but they couldn't kill you.

jesusthroughmary said...

Is Ron Paul ever going to spend any of these millions? I have yet to see a single ad for him; of course, I don't live in Iowa or New Hampshire, but in the People's Republic of New Jersey, where Republican political ads are probably illegal.

Did you know that, during periods of gubernatorial vacancy, the President of the New Jersey State Senate is also acting governor, thereby controlling two of the three branches of government? It's happened three times in the last five years, once for over a year.

Andrew said...

He's been putting out radio and television ads in the states with early primaries. You can find them on Youtube.

Emma B. said...

The problem with this line of thinking is that vaccines are a matter of public health. When you choose not to vaccinate your own child, you're deciding whether s/he becomes a potential carrier of infection who can pass it on to others.

This isn't so much a factor with the flu vaccine, but it is a legitimate concern with other diseases such as whooping cough. If an unvaccinated kid gets whooping cough, that's his parents' own business. But when he gives it to the three-month-old at daycare, who is too young to have been vaccinated, then you have a problem.

The epidemological argument for requiring vaccines for preschool and daycare entry is pretty clear -- as you well know, they're huge disease reservoirs. I don't have a problem with it from a libertarian perspective, either, as you can always choose not to send your child to preschool, day care, or school outside the home.

I'm surprised, to say the least, that Ron Paul is opposed to one of the most successful public health measures of the 20th century.

Stacey said...

That's the thing - those who choose not to vaccinate their children are accepting the risk to be carriers and be susceptible to those who are carriers, and that is their choice. It's not a matter of public health - those who want to be vaccinated against the flu can be.

I don't want to get the flu, and I don't want Ace to get the flu, so we got flu shots. I'm not, however, ever going to tell someone to put something that has a small risk of being harmful into their child if they don't want to, and it's sho nuff not the government's business to do so - it's not their jobs to protect us from ourselves.

Emma B. said...

those who choose not to vaccinate their children are accepting the risk to be carriers and be susceptible to those who are carriers

But they're not the only ones who are susceptible -- people with every intention of vaccinating are still vulnerable to disease spread by those who don't.

Babies aren't vaccinated for many diseases until they are 4-6 months old, so even if you plan to vaccinate, your newborn infant can catch disease from others. I personally know someone whose five-month-old nearly died from whooping cough, caught from an older kid whose parents didn't believe in vaccination. This is a major factor in day-care centers, where there's a sizeable population of very young babies.

Additionally, many vaccines require you to receive several doses in order to be fully protected. Polio takes four doses, DTAP five, spread out over the first 4 years of a child's life. Ace, Claire, and Katherine would all be vulnerable to infection from unvaccinated children, even though you and I personally have done what we can to protect them.

The way I see it, it boils down to the basic libertarian principle of your right to fist-swinging ending at my nose. If you don't want to vaccinate your child, that's fine -- just don't send her to school with my kids.

I get what you're saying about not wanting to force someone else to put their child at even a tiny risk, but the reality is that by doing so, you're putting other people's children at risk. I think it's more ethical to put the burden (i.e. homeschooling) on those who choose to opt out of the system, rather than on those of us who do our part to contribute to herd immunity.

Sharon said...

Stacey-you are always so respectful on this issue of others' vaccine choice. It's a relief, as many people are NOT.

The health care issue is my biggest attraction to Ron Paul. I will not vote for someone pro-choice, nor for someone willing to take away my right to decide what is best for MY children.

Ron Paul should add you to his payroll. I've learned more about him from your blog than anywhere else. (or does that make me sound really bad? lol)