As of July 1 this year, California has deemed that all children who attend public schools must have certain vaccinations unless they can provide proof that there is some medical condition such as an allergy, prohibiting such procedures (http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/30/health/california-vaccine-bill/) . No longer will reasons such as personal beliefs or religion be permitted to prevent any child from receiving legislated inoculations. Governor Jerry Brown has declared that this law shall now be carried out in spite of all objections from the populace, in a state that is known world-wide for its openness to alternative health practices and lifestyles.
Despite the rhetoric, the hysteria and even death threats on all sides, there is truly no absolute in this issue. All of the voices raised against what some see as tyranny and others as salvation have brought up some valid points. None, however, has come up with a workable solution, thus convincing the state that acting as it has is going to seal the lid on the matter once and for all. Good luck with that one.
On the jab-‘em-all side, the main fact (and the only one they consider worthy of concern) is that lives will be protected. No one, granted, wants their child to die from a preventable illness. With programs for pre-school (and older) children to receive free vaccinations in many communities, and Obamacare kicking in for all ages who cannot afford health coverage, they maintain that no Californian should go without immunization against what are usually called childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, pertussis (whooping cough) and chicken pox. On the other side of this argument, though, are those (usually Baby Boomers and older) who claim that they all went through such contagious diseases with no permanent disabilities, usually within a few days. People often deliberately exposed their offspring to those who had such diseases in order to “get it over with.” Today, if any child contracts measles or other such viruses, this is considered a potential killer. Why is there a difference in the virus today?
Other vaccinations are also promoted, and in many cases the illnesses they ward off are far more insidious than the basic ones. Viral meningitis, poliomyelitis (yes, there still ARE cases of polio, often brought into the country from the Third World), and even rabies, which is a threat to anyone when even one infected animal is in contact with any warm-blooded creature, are seldom promulgated as much as they should be. Yet any of those diseases can be responsible for wide-spread deaths and disabilities at the least if not prevented.
Some other concerns about forced immunizations range from what is acceptable to some yet repugnant or even forbidden by conscience to other Californians (not to mention people everywhere). Take the fact that many vaccines are developed from cells taken from aborted babies, albeit the abortions having taken place decades ago (see http://www.immunize.org/concerns/vaticandocument.htm). Many pro-life advocates, not just Roman Catholics, consider this complicit approval of the act of taking the life of unborn children. Yet aside from keeping their kids home when an outbreak occurs, coming up with tuition for private school, or having one parent stay home to school their children, there is no way to circumnavigate the forced acceptance of what they honestly believe is immoral.
Gardasil, which is used to protect against certain types of cervical cancer—and only the kind spread by the human papillomavirus—is also being forced on pre-teen girls (and in many cases boys) in the expectation they will soon begin sexual activity. Many parents and the girls themselves object strongly to this assumption. Those from religions or cultures where such activity before marriage is forbidden are outraged. As well, there is a definite neglect to mention that there have been serious reactions including deaths from this vaccine (see http://www.nvic.org/Vaccines-and-Diseases/hpv.aspx). By 2013, 29,918 reactions, including 140 fatalities, were reported to the federal government’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System.
Going on to other forms of religious objection, what about Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Scientists and others who eschew medical treatment? In some instances, the government steps in to take children away from their parents and forces them to undergo treatment when conditions such as cancer or heart defects threaten their lives. Will agencies (who, by the way, often fail to protect abused children as in the case in 2013 of little Gabriel Fernandez (http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/04/10/social-worker-fired-over-death-of-gabriel-fernandez-may-get-his-job-back/) start removing unvaccinated children from homes?
Another concern is that of the use of mercury (Thimerosal) as a preservative in vaccines. According to some—and not only the now-discredited Dr. Andrew Wakefield of the UK—this substance is a genuine health danger, and not only in the alleged link to autism (see http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/cdc-caught-hiding-data-showing-mercury-in-vaccines-linked-to-autism/). We are continually told to avoid eating fish contaminated with mercury, which is known to accumulate in tissue, so why ingest it any other way? Many concerned parents, whether they believe the autism connection or not, see no reason to include mercury in their or their offspring’s bodies.
No one in their right mind wants to allow suffering that can be easily prevented. Yet before dictating what we all must do, more honest revelation needs to take place. Instead of writing off all objectors as crackpots, the truth about vaccines needs to be opened to the public. Big Pharma, in cahoots with the government, could someday force us all to start taking anti-depressants, pain-killers, and God knows what. Are we ready to surrender our rights to determine what we and our families put into our bodies? Or are we going to submit like good little citizens and let them dope us into doing whatever they want someday?