Don’t poke me, bro!

The steps of the scientific method can be found on this children's website,

depressed immune systems#

shown the flu vaccine is ineffective#

personification of mercury poisoning#

Should the state force parents to vaccinate their children? Nineteen states allow parents to opt out of mandated vaccinations required for school attendance for philosophical reasons. California has upper middle class neighborhoods where as many as 40 percent of children are unvaccinated.

The opposition to vaccination centers around its side effects, impurities contained within the vaccination, and distrust of big pharma.

A small percentage of those vaccinated suffer severe side effects. Statistics show that one in a million develop severe allergic reactions to the measles vaccine. That should be balanced against the studies showing that one in a thousand measles infected children can develop complications from the virus, including even in rare cases brain damage and death. Anti-vaxxers argue that vaccinations lead to depressed immune systems, causing more children to develop serious allergies and yes, autism.

In 1998 a study appeared linking vaccination to autism. A decade later the study was revoked and the doctor who did it discredited. The issue is further clouded because autism is diagnosed much more often than before, and childhood behavior that once was dismissed as a personality quirk is now called autism.

Serious studies have shown the flu vaccine is ineffective. Nevertheless, the CDC (Center for Disease Proliferation and People Control) and the medical community push the flu vaccine every year, assisted by a compliant media. The CDC thinks of itself as a progressive body of trained experts who have only the public good in mind. But under its watch the boundaries of “public health” have been expanded to include fussing over purely private health decisions, like tobacco smoking, to the detriment of actual public health. The CDC was caught completely off guard by Ebola and didn’t exactly distinguish itself. Now it is sending its medical minions out to aggressively push vaccinations after a measles outbreak that began in California’s Disneyland. To listen to our local newscasts you would think that Washoe County was infested with Ebola instead of what is in reality a few schoolchildren coming down with the measles.

The impurities in vaccines, including very small amounts of mercury and formaldehyde, are not a concern for me. The size of the dose controls the effect of the poison. Trace amounts of mercury in a vaccine are not going to turn you into the Mad Hatter, the personification of mercury poisoning in workers who inhaled the element continuously in early 19th century factories.

It is a legitimate concern that large numbers of the unvaccinated who become ill could infect the very young or immune compromised children and unprotected adults. The idea that unvaccinated children break down the vaccine “herd effect” is often dismissed by freedom lovers, who at the same time proclaim that large scale gun ownership protects those who do not own a gun from home invasions.

Our system of compulsory education makes it harder to define individual rights in cases where group rights conflict. School choice would make it easier for parents, not administrators, to control their children’s education and health environments.

The Supreme Court has ruled that only in an epidemic can the state impose drastic health measures on the public. One hundred children in 14 states is hardly an epidemic. But it has raised the vaccination issues for a national conversation, or for trending on Twitter and many likes on Facebook. On television the medical talking heads are all singing out of the same CDC hymnal. We are getting sermons, not dialogue. The medical establishment may well be mostly right, but one side’s opinion is not a debate. Science is never completely settled, and freedom and science can coexist.