February 6th, 2007

Mandatory Vaccinations

I was flabbergasted to run across an Associated Press article which speaks of the tyrannical mandates coming out of Texas:

Gov. Rick Perry ordered Friday that schoolgirls in Texas must be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, making Texas the first state to require the shots.

The girls will have to get Merck & Co.’s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, that are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer.

Lest you pass over the seemingly good intentions of the politicians in this scenario, the article continues:

Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass laws in state legislatures across the country mandating it Gardasil vaccine for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.

Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company’s three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, his former chief of staff. His current chief of staff’s mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.

Conflict of interest, anyone? Corrupt politicians with open pockets catering to lobbyists rather than their constituents? That doesn’t happen, right? Pshh..

Clearly such an atrocious invasion of medical privacy and individual rights could not be passed without the following caveat:

Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing an affidavit stating that he or she objected to the vaccine for religious or philosophical reasons.

Even with such provisions, however, conservative groups say mandates take away parents’ rights to be the primary medical decision maker for their children.

Such a provision will appeal to the small handful of informed parents who oppose this gross assumption of governmental authority in the life of a private citizen.

But what about the masses of ignorant, uninvolved parents who have no idea that this is going on? What about the misguided ones who don’t realize that the government has no place to mandate vaccinations on its citizens and dictate their personal, medical affairs in this regard?

And to you Utah readers, I say that we are next. Behold, the Cervical Cancer Prevention Bill proposed by Representative Karen W. Morgan of District 46 (Cottonwood Heights).

The government has no authority, no right, and no reason to mandate the inoculation of private citizens. This legislation should stir up a revolt amongst the citizenry, but I fear and suspect that most parents will putter around as sheep in the corral, praising Napoleon and Squealer for their benevolent intentions and watchful protection of the children.

Right.

Read quotes about “government” on Quoty

16 Responses to “Mandatory Vaccinations”

  1. Kelly Winterton
    February 6, 2007 at 2:04 pm #

    You ought to research the ties between Donald Rumsfeld and the hyped bird flu and Tamiflu. Rumsfeld was CEO of the company holding the rights to Tamiflu immediately before becoming DefSec. I wonder what revolving-door politician/CEO is behind this new immunization!

  2. February 6, 2007 at 3:17 pm #

    So should kids not be required to be vaccinated at all? What about the dozens of required immunizations before kids can attend school? It’s not just for their safety, but also the safety of others attending that institution.
    I see your point in the conflict of interest that is blatantly obvious in this case (and some others), but I see no harm in requiring certain vaccinations for the safety of the individual and those around them.
    Here’s the logic that I see…
    I am a safe driver. I don’t need care insurance. I’ll be fine, nothing will happen to me because I am careful.
    And then somebody ELSE ploughs through a red light and hits you.
    Better safe than sorry…vaccinations are as much for our own protection as they are for others. This particular vaccination is the first in its kind-one that has the potential to greatly reduce the number of people who develop cervical cancer. Would you refuse a vaccination for testicular cancer or breast cancer?
    Maybe the problem lies more in the fact that only one company (I presume) holds the formula for this particular vaccination.
    Just some thoughts.

  3. Connor
    February 6, 2007 at 3:21 pm #

    Kaela,

    Your argument only holds weight when discussing contagious diseases.

    This article (linked in the post) is a good read on the road to dispelling some of the myths around vaccinations.

    There should be a new PSA aired on TV: “Do you know what’s in your flu shot?” Kind of like the “What’s in your wallet?” by Capital One. Only better. Yeah.

  4. February 6, 2007 at 4:10 pm #

    Maybe.
    But did you know that nearly 80% of people who are sexually active will contract HPV at some point in their life? Many of them will not show symptoms, and it is extremly hard/impossible to test for (especially in males) so it’s awful easy to pass on and not know it. It’s transferred through skin to skin contact.
    (for more info check out http://www.medlineplus.gov)
    I’m not thinking so much in terms of younger kids, but you’d be surprised what goes on in the bathroom, corner, empty classroom, parking lot, etc. of a public middle/high school, or a private one for that matter. Need I say more?
    I see it as an extra precaution after educating and advising your children of the dangers of risky behavior. If this vaccine isn’t manditory, I think it should be strongly, and I mean STRONGLY recommended.
    I think the amount of people and the commonality of this particular virus is an indication of how transferable it is, how rampantly it is spread, and how necessary a vaccine really is.
    I’m no expert, but I really do believe this vaccine is a great advancement. I think it should also be paired with more education, as many people aren’t aware of this virus and its possible effects.
    Sorry to digress, I just see no reason to opt out of such an important medical advancement!
    (I realize that the issue I’m arguing is different from the one you originally posed)

  5. February 7, 2007 at 3:51 pm #

    Connor,
    Just remember it was this tyranny that eradicated smallpox and chased polio out of this country. I thought the tone of this post was a little polemic. Conflict of interest is one thing, but do you really think that none of those government officials take pride in the fact that they are saving lives with their law, or even more astoundingly, introduced the bill or were ultimately persuaded because of this goal.

  6. Connor
    February 7, 2007 at 4:05 pm #

    The point is not that these medical advances are tyrannical—they are not. The tyranny comes into play when the government mandates its use. This issue has come into play several times previously where the government enforces medical advice (advice, ha!) upon supposedly free citizens.

    These medical advances are in large part, I believe a gift from God. However, when government corruption and collusion is blatantly apparent, previously offered altruistic intentions are, for me, thrown right out the window.

  7. February 7, 2007 at 4:10 pm #

    The problem is that with the need for requisite amounts of vaccinated individuals, volunteerism makes them worthless. Even in the case of something as frightening as polio, people being human, will stop vaccinating as soon as the disease is less visible and the scourge will come right back and then the vaccination will continue. This all comes down to whether laws mandating public health are moral or not. From a utilitarian perspective they absolutely are, but I suspect that is not the perspective you are coming from.

  8. February 7, 2007 at 4:14 pm #

    And yes, I do understand you are coming from a personal liberty perspective. It is a tough conflict, the rights of individuals vs. the benefit of society. I merely hope to point out that it is not as black and white and you make it out to be.

  9. Connor
    February 7, 2007 at 4:14 pm #

    Volunteerism and government intervention aren’t necessarily the only two options. Take polio, which you proposed as an example previously. The widespread inoculations were due to the efforts of the World Health Organization and Rotary International.

    Certainly private organizations and individuals can promote the voluntary acceptance of such vaccinations and remedies, without big brother stepping in to enforce them, right? Or have we become so apathetic and enslaved that we leave all important decisions up to those who supposedly know best? Do they really have our best intentions at heart? Hardly.

  10. February 7, 2007 at 4:40 pm #

    Polio still happens in those countries where the WHO is working so hard to vaccinate people precisely because they can’t do it all on their own. It really wouldn’t be long before measles and polio made it back here if it weren’t for the system we have in place.

    I’ve met to many parents convinced it is not in their child’s best interest because they heard about mercury or autism or whatever the latest conspiracy du jour is. Their concerns are perfectly valid until the actual disease gains a presence in their communities and boom, suddenly those same parents would be the first in line.

  11. February 7, 2007 at 4:43 pm #

    In the US parents can opt out of vaccinations if they do the paperwork, I think this is a valid compromise weeding out the apathetic and giving the societal benefit while allowing those with especially strong feelings to opt out.

  12. Kelly Winterton
    February 7, 2007 at 4:59 pm #

    About opting out – – perhaps this is the avenue Connor wanted us to explore by posting this subject in his blog in the first place.

    Even though my employer offers to pay for my flu shot every year, I always opt out. I am not mad at my employer for offering to pay, but I sure as heck would be mad at him if he FORCED me to get the shot.

  13. Connor
    February 7, 2007 at 5:15 pm #

    While I see it as beneficial that an opt-out is provided, my concern is that several parents will be clueless that their children are being vaccinated (just like how many are ignorant that their children are subjected to other things they’d disagree with, like questionable sexual education material, books with questionable themes, etc.). And even more parents will allow this intervention to happen without fathoming the political implications of a government enforcing medicinal operations at their whim.

    I’ll refrain from steering the comments in the direction of government corruption by suppressing my desire to further enunciate and lambaste the example provided by this news story. Ugh.

  14. February 9, 2007 at 1:15 pm #

    It is my opinion that it should be the choice of the girls — if and when they decide to become sexually active. Vaccinations contain mercury and can potentially cause other problems. Each individual should be allowed to assess their own relative risk/benefit ratio, especially in a sexually transmitted disease. Allowing mass mandnatory vaccination is a bad road to travel down. What does it set a precedent for?

  15. Connor
    May 30, 2007 at 6:27 pm #

    Three girls have now died from this vaccination, and many others have experienced adverse side effects.

  16. June 21, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    This is an old post, and not likely one that you’ll revisit, but I just wanted to share a story about his vaccine.
    A good friend of mine homeschooled her son for a few years.
    At his well-check, she was asked if she wanted him to have this vaccine.
    She wasn’t sure.
    The doctor said, “Well, since he’s homeschooled, you are probably safe enough not to get it.”

    My friend was floored.

    Does that mean that public school kids are assumed to be sexually active and therefore need the vaccine?

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