In Oklahoma City, senator Ervin Yen has put forth a bill that will get rid of the ability to abstain from getting children vaccinated due to religious and personal reasons. Medical reasons will still be a valid distinction for children going to school.
While this may seem to be an affront on the first amendment, this law should pass because of issues of public health.
The two main components to the bill address personal and religious reasons for avoiding vaccinations.
First, personal reasons for vaccinations have very little backing to stand on. Anti-vaccine groups claim that vaccines cause autism in children.
There have been nine Center for Disease Control (CDC) backed or performed studies all concluding that ingredients within vaccines do not cause autism (cdc.gov), so this concern is unfounded. These studies and many more have all proven that there is nothing wrong with the common vaccines in the world. While there are vaccines that are in a trial phase, vaccines on the forefront of medical care are safe.
Religious reasons are a little harder. While freedom of religion is important, it should not come at the cost of people’s lives. There are several cases in the United States of people being infected by people who haven’t had certain vaccinations.
In 2013, non-vaccinated children caused a large case of whooping cough in California that infected more than 9,000 people.
The government should be allowed to mandate that children get vaccinated because it will help save lives of people who are negatively affected by other’s choices. While these type of laws can set a dangerous precedent, when laws will directly save lives, they should be allowed through without any problems.