Vaccinations Should Not Be Mandated

Garrett Monfre, Managing Staff Artist for Spokesman


I would like to begin this article by stating that I fully support vaccinations, and am not against vaccinations themselves. Vaccinations are extremely helpful, and have performed marvelously in the fight to eradicate certain diseases. Since the first use of inoculation against smallpox, we have gradually cut down on, and in some cases, eliminated the diseases entirely.

However, forced vaccinations are a different story. Some vaccinations are completely arbitrary, and are useless to require people who are not at risk to receive them. One excellent example is the influenza vaccine, which is given out every year. According to a paper by Robert C. Couch, as well as the CDC, influenza vaccines vary each year, based on which strains of the virus research shows to be most likely to be prevalent. It is redundant for healthy people, especially those with little contact with people at risk from these diseases, to get vaccinated for something that changes each year.

There are also vaccines, such as the vaccine for yellow fever, that are not needed for certain populations. Yellow fever is endemic to Latin America and Africa, and a vaccine would not be needed unless one is traveling to one of those areas.

Moreover, not only are some vaccines unnecessary, but they also carry health risks. While vaccines do not cause autism, and the study which says they do has been disproven and the scientist discredited, they, like any medicine have side effects that should at least be known by the person receiving the vaccine. For example, according to the CDC, the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, can cause moderate problems including “seizure (jerking or staring) caused by fever (about 1 out of 3,000 doses), temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women (up to 1 out of 4), and temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder (about 1 out of 30,000 doses).” These problems are, for the most part, fairly rare, but so are many things. According to National Geographic, you have a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark. We still hear about fatal shark attacks. Someone is going to be attacked and killed by a shark, someone is going to win the lottery, and someone has to have these side effects, otherwise we would not have these statistics. People fail to understand there are risks to vaccines, just like there are risks to anything, and some people, no matter how healthy, are going to draw the short straw. We think it is not going to be us, and fail to stop and actually consider the potential risks to ourselves. And while the risks are not necessarily the most common, we still need to be aware that yes, there are risks, and we should be able to decide if we want to take these risks.