Whether to vaccinate is a personal choice

By Jeremy Wetherton

The Vision Online Editor-in-Chief

With a sneeze here and a cough there, our bodies are existing in the germ-swapping minefield that is society.

There is nowhere a person can go to be void of germs.  You can’t run away from them and you certainly can’t hide from them.  So surely requiring a vaccination for children is a positive thing, right?

Wrong.

Vaccination should not be required for children.  Not because vaccines don’t do their job. Not because most children’s immune systems work much better than the average adult’s.  Certainly not because theconspiracy theorists claim it’s a government way of tracking us.  No, vaccinations should not be required for the simple principle of the freedom of decision and preference.

A rational human being is going to look at vaccinations in a positive light because they provide a great service to society.  They keep us from becoming sick, mostly.

A sensible parent will, in all likelihood, get vaccinations for his or her child.  The benefits of vaccinations will outweigh any side effects that happen and is well worth the money spent, whether covered by insurance or not.

Sending children into a school is like sending their body and immune system into a nuclear warzone.  The body has to fight diseases it has never come into contact with and is not prepared to counter.

But requiring these shots steals away our decision-making as people.  As citizens of the United States, we should be able to decide what should be allowed in our bodies, and how we protect ourselves.

I understand that the government feels this will better society if it is required, but when the idea of bettering society trumps individual freedom, there is an issue.

If I decide that my son doesn’t need to get a vaccination and he gets sick, it’s my fault and I need to take the action of making sure my child gets the correct treatment in order to return to full health.  The decision should be mine.

Some may argue that if one child doesn’t get a vaccination, he puts the entire class and school at risk.

The idea is false, only the children who didn’t get vaccinations will truly be at risk.  It is not the responsibility of the United States government to make sure my child doesn’t get sick; it is ultimately mine.

That being said, the idea of free choice is not the only argument against required vaccinations.

There are cases where vaccinations have cause serious illness in children and adults.  A 1992 study published in The American Journal of Epidemiology shows that children die at a rate eight times greater than normal within three days after getting a DPT vaccination.

Injecting a vaccination can lead to serious side effects, ones that should be considered before a person is vaccinated.

Ultimately, the side effects are a minor cause that should simply focus the public on the critical idea at hand: the principle of free choice, and it is a principle that the American people should not have stripped from them.

It’s my body, shouldn’t I be able to choose what goes in it?