Cappel: Why the government shouldn’t require vaccines

Despite pressure from the public to mandate vaccinations to all children, the choice to vaccinate needs to remain a parent’s discretion.

Alex Cappel, Opinions Columnist

With the recent outbreak of measles across the United States, there has been a growing call for legislation requiring all children to be vaccinated when they are born. In Iowa, legislation has even been introduced to eliminate the religious exemption for vaccines.

I believe this to be a poor idea for a number of reasons. I should preface this by saying that I am vaccinated, and I plan on vaccinating my future children. I think every parent should make the choice to give their kid vaccinations to keep them safe from deadly diseases, but I think the government should keep its hands off this and let parents decide.

One of the biggest reasons people want to mandate vaccinations across the United States is that the children have no say in whether they are protected from deadly diseases. This is a valid point, but I also think that parents make tons of small decisions every single day that could have a greater effect on their children’s health and well-being.

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It’s possible to realistically do more damage to a child by feeding them candy and junk food for every meal, but that’s a choice to make as a parent. And don’t get me wrong, there are lots of people who make really bad parents. The key here, I think, is that almost everyone is going to have different parenting philosophies, and the government shouldn’t step in and tell parents how to raise their children.

Additionally, I think it gives the government too much power when they force people to put viruses into their bodies. Some vaccines, such as MMR, are crucial and well-established vaccines that really do save lives.

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However, there are some vaccines that may have to be recalled or can be known to have a high chance of side effects on the people who get them. Gardasil 9 is a vaccine that was designed to prevent HPV leading to cervical cancer. While doctors claim that the vaccine was completely safe, there were tens of thousands of adverse effects, including death, examined by the National Vaccine Information Center. Kelly Brogan, a holistic women’s health psychiatrist, says Gardasil is “reckless endangerment of our youth” on her website. Improvements to vaccine in 2015 demonstrate that problems were existent in Gardasil. What if the government forced you to get a vaccine that was later recalled or replaced because of a safety concern? I think it is safe to say that parents are better off making that choice for their children than the government is.

Again, I want to reiterate that I think every parent should vaccinate their child, but I also think that every parent should take their kid to religious services so that they can adopt the Judeo-Christian values that America was founded on. I’m not going to mandate that by law. It’s your choice as to whether you do that. There are probably lawmakers and certain people who want to require it, but personal freedom and the choice on how you live your life and raise your children are two of the principal ideas of our nation. Make good choices when it comes to raising your children, and vaccination is one of them.