Concerning vaccination requirement for children, my belief is very simple. There should be certain “ports of entry” whereby a child must have their vaccinations. If they don’t, they cannot enter that port. Two ports of entry that come to mind immediately are any public or private educational system where a certain minimum number of children could be gathered together at any one time, and public or private day care facilities that have a minimum number of children. That minimum number should be a low number (like 10 or more).
Depending on certain situations, those ports of entry for children could increase in number. If, for example, there is a local outbreak of a disease (like the measles outbreak occurring now) which could be immunized against, a port of entry could be any traveling terminal, shopping mall, or any other public place where children or elderly could enter. I do not oppose local government from imposing temporary public restrictions, but it must be through a federally determined outbreak through a credible entity such as the CDC.
That being said, I completely oppose government stepping in and micro-controlling the personal and private decision of parents as to if, when, and how they decide to immunize their children. We must respect the individuality of families and beliefs, but those who choose not to immunize must accept the limitations society puts upon them and not violate the immunization “ports of public entry” laws. I believe this is very reasonable and parents who don’t immunize their children should not be complaining as though they have a right to put others at potential risk if society deems it a risk. That is simply wrong in my opinion, and I don’t support that kind of demand for rights. I mean, legally, fine. Picket, boycott, whatever. It is the right of the first amendment, but morally, I personally oppose it.
As an example, perhaps a parent has “faith” that the higher power they believe in will keep their child safe. That is completely their prerogative. But by that parent refraining from immunizing their children, but still demanding to place their children in a public place where society has decided immunization is required, those parents are trying to indirectly “bully” society to have the same “faith” they have. That is complete hypocrisy. They don’t want society bullying them to force vaccinations, yet they are willing to attempt to “bully” society the opposite way. It is simply wrong. In this pluralistic society, everyone must sacrifice for the well-being of others. There really aren’t any exceptions.
So, if parents violate those simple boundaries of society, the parents should, first of all, be blocked at the port of entry, and if they are able to get through illegally, they should potentially be fined if caught, or fined and held civilly and in extreme cases, criminally responsible if an outbreak is spread through the violation of such a law.
On the counterpoint, as I see it, we should treat sensitive subjects carefully, and whether one per ten thousand or one per million vaccinations have complications, that is too many complications to force parents to vaccinate and accept that statistic as “societal casualties”. Society should not tell a parent when they “must” inject a foreign substance into their child. Parents should have rights. But we, as a society, also have rights as well, and there is a balance between the two.
As a whole, and on another topic, we need a concerted effort within our government to ease fears and conspiracy theories about things that are potentially good for society to accept like immunizations. As a government, we need to be completely truthful and accurate with our statistics, not just about immunizations, but all aspects of government reporting without spin. Most people aren’t stupid, and they know when they are being “spinned”. Government needs to earn back the trust of its citizens so when legitimate information is needed to be received by society, the credibility is there. As stated elsewhere, integrity is the greatest and most valuable commodity in our society right now!
So, instead of using a “bully” tactic of pressuring or forcing compliance, and treating parents who have sincere concerns like they are outcasts, we need to inundate society with truth and accuracy about factual information without interpretive spin. Significant efforts have been made, but more needs to be done in this arena.
A significant sector of society does not believe when government reports things as a whole. That is troubling for a democratic society. We MUST build integrity from the ground up so when we, who could represent the government speak, people will listen and believe rather than scoff and create a new conspiracy theory for someone like Trump to seize upon.
Needless to say (but I will say it anyway), lying Trump has done NOTHING toward solving this much bigger problem of creating clouds around facts and propagating lies. He has literally opened up pandora’s box of conspiracy theories from every conceivable origin. I guess from his point of view, though, if it is bad for America, but good for Trump, who cares? How can anyone, Trump supporter or not, think this is good for our nation?
If I am elected President, I would work very hard to undo the horrific damage caused by tweeting Trump! And I would work very hard to restore trust in government reporting to our citizens. By the time I were to leave office, it would be my goal the vast majority of our citizens will have faith in the US Government once again! That would be a future campaign promise!
Returning to the subject of vaccinations, once again, like most hot topics right now, there is a pendulum, there is polarization, and there is a happy collaborative point in the middle. And once again, I support the collaborative point in the middle. Society has rights to implement localized and nationalized immunization requirements for people to enter a “port” defined by “any public place the local or national society chooses to define”, and parents have rights if, how, and when to immunize, so long as they do not violate any defined “ports of entry”.
I believe the Federal government has the responsibility to enact requirements for immunization upon clear, abstract, general “ports of entry”, such as public and private schools of certain minimum size, and private and public day care facilities of certain minimum size, but should limit those requirements to the most general and abstract situations without infringing upon state and local governments, nor unreasonably on the individual rights of parents. I also believe the federal government has the responsibility to define the edge-case boundaries around where a state or local government can define as a “public place requiring immunization”. Without that, a local or state government could theoretically define “all places within city limits or state boundaries” as the public areas requiring immunization and basically confine non-immunized families to their dwelling place and basically strip them of their rights. That is a serious overreach of a local or state government and the Federal government should prevent that. This example is extreme, but we are in extreme times in our society where groups of people in power enact bizarre extreme things just to make points or cram their ideological crap down others’ throats. We, as a society, need to safeguard against this and prevent even the possibility of it happening. I think that is one of the Federal government’s main purposes… not to control, but create the environment for reasonable mitigation and foresight toward a peaceful, well-balanced society. That would be my goal.