Staff Editorial: Vaccinations should be optional

  Ever since the HPV immunization was introduced in 2006, arguments concerning the ethical and political aspects of immunizations has inflated. The political and social discourse arising from this debate has brought to light a question over what immunization laws overstep the boundaries of human rights. When the laws constrict both students and workers to a high degree, it affects more people than some may think; but the question is, should it?

  The first question to be brought to light is what laws, exactly, prohibit us as teens when it comes to vaccinations? According to ProCon.Org, at the moment no US federal vaccination laws exist; however, all 50 states have laws requiring children to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTaP), polio (IPV), and measles and rubella (MMR). All 50 states allow medical exemptions, 47 states allow religious exemptions, and 17 states allow philosophical exemptions. Missouri offers both medical and religious exemptions, but only allows philosophical exemptions for children entering child care and Head Start facilities.

  The second thing that should be discussed is the ambiguous medical background of immunizations. is a non-profit site that combines the findings of German homeopathic physician Andreas Bachmair with various other independent studies conducted around the world. According to this site, there has been no official US government sponsored studies comparing the health of vaccinated children to the health of unvaccinated children; however, there have been many independently sponsored studies concluding that unvaccinated children experience almost no incidence of autism, autoimmune disorders, asthma, allergies, diabetes, and other common childhood diseases which have reached epidemic proportions in recent years. Encouraging this, there has been growing controversy concerning the flu-shot., a site that uses information provided by the US department of Health and Human services, says that the flu shot actually contains many ingredients poisonous to our bodies. For example, Thimerosal is a common vaccine additive and preservative that contains mercury – a known neurotoxin. Anything consisting of over 200 ppb of mercury is known as being toxic to the human body, yet the flu-shot contains 25,000 ppb. This fact alone brings many concerned individuals to question the legality of the flu shot – especially when schools and most workplaces demand it to be taken. There’s also the fact that Glyphosate (a toxic herbicide that is linked to diseases such as autism, IBD and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; the World Health Organization acknowledges it is “probably carcinogenic”) and neomycin/gentamycin (antibiotics which are both theoretically useless against viruses and aid in antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”) also play major roles within this vaccine.

  However, there are still numerous reasons for why children should be vaccinated. The most common reason being that, obviously, vaccinations halt the spread of serious diseases. The US Department of Health and Human services explains the various advantages of getting vaccinated through the article “Five Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child”, in which they explain that immunizations can save lives as well as time and money. By vaccinating your children, not only are they less likely to contract deadly diseases, but they also won’t have to fear being denied attendance at schools or other strict facilities/events. This way, parents won’t have to spend money on possibly more expensive childcare facilities in order to suit the state of their child’s medical background.

  Despite these many reasons in which the use of vaccines is debatable, people are still legally stripped of the choice by the government. When given accurate information, as well as an exact list of pros and cons, parents should ultimately be the ones to decide whether or not their child should be vaccinated. The government should not have say over whether people should be vaccinated when, despite its benefits, poses an ongoing list of long-term serious health complications.