California has no right to make vaccinations a requirement

Party it up with the measles and get down with the mumps if that’s your prerogative.

It seems odd that to this day vaccinations remain one of the most hotly debated topics in the U.S. Although we’re one of the most well vaccinated populations in the entire world, the debate over personal rights and public health continues to rage on harder than ever. This was made crystal clear last week when a California bill regarding vaccinations stalled in the state senate. If passed, the bill would make vaccinations a requirement for those attending public schools. After hours of testimony, the vote on the bill was postponed until next week. So, with things still up in the air, the question remains: Can someone be forced into vaccinating their child?

The answer to this is simple: No, we cannot force vaccinations on anyone. Whether it be for religious or health reasons, it is your God-given right as an American to remain unvaccinated. So party it up with the measles and get down with the mumps if that’s your prerogative.

The only problem is the possibility that your child could becomes a risk to other children. We can’t keep kids locked up in the house or put them in giant, hermetically sealed bubbles (yet). So here we are, stuck with this problem without any solution. The perfect example of this comes from the Happiest Place on Earth. We’ve all heard Disneyland’s request to keep your unvaccinated children at home. The problem with this is that they have no right to keep you out based on medical records or personal belief. To use a sentence I thought I’d never write, I think that Mickey has provided the answer to our vaccination debate. That answer is to do absolutely nothing and just hope people make good decisions.

That’s right, a self-proclaimed big government liberal is here to say that the government has no right to make vaccinations a requirement to attend public schools. By requiring them, the government would be accepting one stance as correct and dismissing everyone that disagrees, which is not what the government should be doing. Not only that but it would also deny free education based on personal belief, which would only create an uneducated, unvaccinated population.

The truth that the pro-vaccination crowd doesn’t like to admit is that vaccines are not 100 percent effective. Even though such cases are rare, there are accounts of people getting measles or mumps even though they were properly vaccinated. There are also even less common cases in which people have actually become sick because of vaccinations. It is these few exceptions to the rule that people have based their beliefs on. The truth anti-vaxxers never want to admit is that vaccines are extremely helpful. There’s a reason why measles aren’t as prevalent today as they once were, and it’s because of the invention and use of vaccines. While people should be allowed to remain unvaccinated, they should also be made aware of the huge health risks they undertake when they decide against vaccinating themselves or their children.

Reach the columnist at Alec.Grafil@asu.edu or follow @AlecGrafil on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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